Marine

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The territorial waters around the Falklands (the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)) cover an area just over 466,000km2. Much of this lies over the Patagonian Shelf at depths of 200m or less, though to the north, east and south the shelf slopes away and deeper waters of over 4,000m occur. To the south of the EEZ is the Burdwood Bank, which is a large plateau rising to 50 m below the surface, and a significant marine feature. The Falklands Current transports cold waters of Sub-Antarctic origin northwards along the Patagonian slope creating strong upwelling that, when in combination with shelf waters, create areas of high productivity, making the Patagonian Shelf the most productive in the south Atlantic.

The fishing industry in the productive waters around the Falkland Islands developed in the 1950s.

 

Since the mid-eighties, the fishery has targeted 11 species of finfish, two species of cephalopod and one bivalve.

 

The two main types of fishing activity in Falkland Islands waters are trawling and jigging, although demersal longlining, pelagic trawling and potting have been or are currently employed.

 

A number of inshore fisheries have also occurred in the Falkland Islands, but are currently very small scale.

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Tourism is a well-established industry in the Falklands and the cruise ship sector has grown considerably in recent years. Recently oil and gas exploration have located viable oil reserves in the seas to the north of the Islands and an offshore oil industry is developing. Increasing activities heighten the need for good management of the marine environment and sustainable use of the natural marine resources.

A set of 18 marine biotypes has been identified.

 

Seven of these are characterised by algae of which kelps are common in Falklands’ waters.

 

Much of the marine environment of the Islands remains unstudied; however, it is known to support a rich assemblage of cephalopods, globally significant seabird populations, some which are threatened. These include penguins, albatrosses, and petrels.

 

There are three breeding species of seal and over 20 species of cetaceans have been recorded. These include inshore and offshore populations of dolphins and whales, including important assemblages of the endangered sei and fin whales.

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Whales

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Dolphins

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Seals

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Penguins

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Albatrosses, Shearwaters and Petrels

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Marine Management

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