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Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Expands to Include Davidson Seamount: Opportunities for Applied Research and Education in a New Marine Protected Area

Choy, S.J., E.J. Burton, A.P. DeVogelaere, J. Barry, L. Lundsten, and C.R. McClain (2009)

Poster presentations at the 2009 Sanctuary Currents Symposium, Monterey, CA; and SEAMOUNTS '09 Workshop Exploration, Biogeosciences and Fisheries, La Jolla, CA.


The Davidson Seamount is now part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). Located 128 km (80 statute miles) southwest of Monterey, Davidson Seamount rises 2,280 m (7,480 ft) above the surrounding ocean floor, measures 42 km (26 statute miles) in length, and yet remains some 1,250 m (4,101 ft) below the sea surface. The inclusion of Davidson Seamount to the MBNMS represents a new and unique opportunity for applied seamount research in a new marine protected area (MPA).

The Davidson Seamount is one of the best-studied seamounts in the world. As a result, there is a wealth of existing information regarding habitat types, marine fauna, geology, and bathymetry of a pristine marine ecosystem, all documented by a wide variety of media. For example, a guide of 237 taxa has recently been completed for the area. In addition, the MBNMS has released an Action Plan for the Davidson Seamount Management Zone (DSMZ), which mirrors the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Deep-Sea Coral and Sponge Research and Management Strategic Plan. The DSMZ Action Plan outlines research and conservation objectives, thus providing a launch pad for applied seamount research and novel research questions. The MBNMS is developing resources to support research, as well as programs for outreach and education to highlight research findings to the public. So come to the Davidson Seamount for all of your research needs and seamount education material - we're officially open for business.

Reviewed: April 11, 2024
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