New England SeamountsSelected year: 2021

New England Seamounts
Geographical referenceNorthwest Atlantic
Area TypeSeamount closure (NAFO)
Closed since 2007-01-01
Habitat and BiologyGeneral BiologyClosed as a seamount VME element (SCS 20/14).
Physical description of the environment: SeamountsConsists of 17 peaks (SCR 7/61). The New England Seamounts are a 1200-km-long chain of about 30 volcanic peaks in the North Atlantic extending from Georges Bank within the US EEZ, to the eastern end of the Bermuda Rise. The New England seamounts are in the New England – Corner Rise Seamount system. This hotspot, referred to as the “New England hotspot”, is more than 3000-km-long. A pause in volcanism 83 million years ago is responsible for the present day spatial gap between these two seamount chains. Named seamounts within the New England Seamount chain include: Allegheny Seamount, Asterias Seamount, Balanus Seamount, Bear Seamount, Buell Seamount, Gerda Seamount, Gilliss Seamount, Gosnold Seamount, Gregg Seamount, Hodgson Seamount, Kelvin Seamount, Kiwi Seamount, Manning Seamount, Michael Seamount, Mytilus Seamount, Nashville Seamount, Panulirus Seamount, Picket Seamount, Physalia Seamount, Rehoboth Seamount, Retriever Seamount, San Pablo Seamount, Sheldrake Seamount, Vogel Seamount. At the 2017 NAFO Annual Meeting, the Commission adopted a revision of the New England Seammounts closure to include peaks within the seamount chain that were shallower that 2000m (COM Doc. 17-16).



The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers and boundaries. Dashed lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.

Measures specific to this area

  • Until 31 December 2021, no vessel shall engage in bottom fishing activities in any of the areas illustrated in Figure 3 and defined by connecting the following coordinates specified in Table 5 in numerical order and back to coordinate 1. (Article 17.1)
    Period in force: 2021-01-01 to 2021-12-31, review in: 2021
    Source of information
    NAFO Conservation and Enforcement Measures 2021 (COM Doc. 21-01, Serial No. N7153, 194 pp.) Click to open 2021
Source of information
NAFO. 2020. Report of the Scientific Council Meeting. SCS Doc. 20/14. 261 pp. Click to open Scientific Council 2020 28 May 2020 - 12 Jun 2020
NAFO. 2020. NAFO. Scientific Council Reports 2019. NAFO, Canada. 451 pp. Click to open SC 2020
NAFO. 2020. Report of the NAFO Commission and its Subsidiary Bodies (STACTIC and STACFAD) 42nd Annual Meeting of NAFO 21-25 September 2020 via WebEx. 130 pp. Click to open Commission 2020
Management Body/Authority
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO)
According to the amended NAFO Convention, the Convention on Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries, NAFO’s objective is “to ensure the long term conservation and sustainable use of the fishery resources in the Convention Area and, in so doing, to safeguard the marine ecosystems in which these resources are found.” In Article III of the Convention, General Principles, Contracting Parties individually or collectively, as appropriate, shall:(a) promote the optimum utilization and long-term sustainability of fishery resources;(b) adopt measures based on the best scientific advice available to ensure that fishery resources are maintained at or restored to levels capable of producing maximum sustainable yield;(c) apply the precautionary approach in accordance with Article 6 of the 1995 Agreement;(d) take due account of the impact of fishing activities on other species and marine ecosystems and in doing so, adopt measures to minimize harmful impact on living resources and marine ecosystems;(e) take due account of the need to preserve marine biological diversity;(f) prevent or eliminate overfishing and excess fishing capacity, and ensure that levels of fishing effort do not exceed those commensurate with the sustainable use of the fishery resources;(g) ensure that complete and accurate data concerning fishing activities within the Convention Area are collected and shared among them in a timely manner;(h) ensure effective compliance with management measures and that sanctions for any infringements are adequate in severity; and(i) take due account of the need to minimize pollution and waste originating from fishing vessels as well as minimize discards, catch by lost or abandoned gear, catch of species not subject to a directed fishery and impacts on associated or dependent species, in particularendangered species.
Regional Fishery Body fact sheet
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