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Hope Spot - Outer Seychelles: protect the largest shallow tropical marine ecosystem

About Hope Spot - Outer Seychelles: protect the largest shallow tropical marine ecosystem
Off the east coast of Africa and north of Madagascar, five coralline island groups known as the Outer Seychelles are scattered in the middle of the Indian Ocean. This region of 72 remote cays and atolls is connected to Mauritius through an underwater ridge called the Mascarene Plateau, part of which is an ecologically and biologically significant area called the Saya de Malha Banks. The banks cover an area of approximately 40,000 km2 and have high productivity due to an upwelling that causes deep, cold, nutrient-rich waters to the surface. The Saya de Malha Banks are considered to be unique due to their geological origin, and because they represent the largest shallow tropical marine ecosystem in the region with an extensive seagrass bed that provides habitat to key species including the green sea turtle. The remoteness of the Saya de Malha Banks from direct sources of anthropogenic stress and the currently low level of human activities make it a crucial reservoir to maintain the biodiversity in surrounding inhabited islands and shores of the Western Indian Ocean.
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.