This report contains a study regarding the biodiversity of the Saba Bank, one of the three largest atolls in the world. All scientific and anecdotic evidence suggests that the area is a hot spot of biodiversity and one of the few areas in the Caribbean that is still in a relatively pristine condition. The atoll is likely also important as a source of larvae for other areas in the region because of its enormous dimensions and diverse habitats. Major damage however may already be inflicted by the anchoring of large oil tankers. More scientific research is necessary with regards to the damage inflicted by anchoring and to the sustainability of current fishing practices, but to date there is already sufficient data to call for strong protection of the Saba Bank as soon as possible. Therefore, an application to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to designate the Saba Bank as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) in order to prevent possibly irreversible damage to the ecosystem and to enable sustainable protection of it’s vulnerable resources seems crucial and urgent.
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