Seamounts are major topographic features on the high seas and form distinctive habitats in areas that would otherwise be dominated by sedimentary plains (Clark et al. 2010). They are typified by biota that is distinct from species in surrounding sedimentary areas and can be extremely vulnerable to disturbance (Clark et al. 2010). They are a focus for conservation within national boundaries but are not specifically managed on the high seas.
A workshop, organised by GOBI and Censeam and supported by Sloan Foundation, took place at the end of 2010 with three primary goals:
-Determine suitable data for identification of EBSAs (Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas) for seamounts
-Develop a process for the identification of priority EBSAs for seamounts
-Identify candidate EBSAs form existing seamount data and knowledge.
This report describes the provisional process for identification of EBSAs and gives an example from the South Pacific Ocean.