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Latin american journal of aquatic research

On-line version ISSN 0718-560X


GALVEZ-LARACH, Mauricio. Seamounts of Nazca and Salas y Gómez: a review for management and conservation purposes. Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res. [online]. 2009, vol.37, n.3, pp.479-500. ISSN 0718-560X.

Due to growing international awareness of the importance of the conservation and management of vulnerable marine ecosystems - of which the seamounts and deep-sea corals of the Nazca and Salas y Gómez submarine ridges are examples - and taking into account the imminent establishment of a South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization, a scientific review of this seamount chain is needed to provide input for decision-making processes. This paper provides such a review, considering geological, oceanographic, biological, ecological, and fisheries issues associated with Nazca and Salas y Gómez, and also identifies some management options. Notwithstanding the limited and fragmented studies available, this distinctive area has a high level of endemism, rich biodiversity, seamount density, deep-sea corals, relatively elevated primary productivity (considering the surrounding waters), and the potential for bottom fisheries and ocean-mining activities. Because of the remoteness of the área and the high costs involved, strong international cooperation will be required to undertake future studies. A network of Marine Protected Áreas is identified as the best management option for the area.

Keywords : seamounts; Nazca and Salas y Gómez; vulnerable marine ecosystem; conservation and fisheries management.

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