Status of Saba Bank’s reefs

The Saba Bank remained an unexplored and mysterious offshore submerged carbonate platform until very recently. Research on the Saba Bank was first initiated under

the Central Government of the Netherlands Antilles due to fishing pressure on the Bank and after fishery legislation was first enacted. After the constitutional change in 2010 when the Saba Bank became the direct responsibility of the Netherlands, there was more attention for the Saba Bank and there have been several research expeditions to assess the state of the fisheries, coral reef health and shark population (Bos et al., 2016). A known biodiversity hotspot, the Saba Bank is of special interest to scientists because it has remained relatively pristine thanks to its remote location (DCNA, 2016; Bos et al., 2016). But the Saba Bank is by no means immune to global and regional impacts including the effects of climate change.

It is essential that action is taken to increase the resilience of the Saba Bank as much as possible in order to buffer the effects of climate change including the very real possibility of more, and more intense bleaching events and hurricanes as well as the insidious impact of ocean acidification.

This news-item was published in BioNews 8-2017.

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