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Hope Spot - Lord Howe Rise: more than 100 species found nowhere else on Earth

About Hope Spot - Lord Howe Rise: more than 100 species found nowhere else on Earth
Located approximately 800 kilometers east of Australia, the sunken continent of Zealandia sank into the southern Pacific Ocean long before humans evolved. In the northern section of Zealandia lies a 1.5 million square kilometer section known as the Lord Howe Rise. From the depths of this site, a mountain rises above the sea surface to form Lord Howe Island, which is a terrestrial conservation hotspot, a World Heritage Site and is surrounded by shallow waters with more than 100 species found nowhere else on Earth. Further west, and far less-explored, lies a large submerged portion of the Lord Howe Rise, which is a high seas biodiversity hotspot. Recent expeditions have found hundreds of species of sponges, crabs, sea urchins, sea stars, and octopuses, many of them new to science and quite possibly occurring nowhere else. Much of this Rise is a plateau studded with volcanic seamounts. Fish such as orange roughy are attracted to seamounts to feed or to breed. Unfortunately, large offshore fishing trawlers dragging nets through aggregations of breeding orange roughy continue to deplete the population of this especially vulnerable species.
About Mission Blue
Mission Blue is an initiative of the Sylvia Earle Alliance to ignite public support for the protection of Hope Spots through the creation of a global network of marine protected areas to safeguard 20% of the ocean by 2020.