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Expedition discovers marine treasures

of its economy from the atoll, and the atoll is being damaged," Hoetjes said.

A petroleum trans-shipment depot on neighboring St. Eustatius Island causes significant marine traffic, including oil supertankers in the area around the submerged atoll. The fragile ecosystems of Saba Bank get damaged by anchors and chains of ships that wait at the atoll to avoid anchoring fees in territorial waters of St. Eustatius.

The large ships also endanger local fishermen of Saba in their small boats, forcing them away from traditional fishing grounds and causing the loss of fish pots that become so-called ''ghost traps" that harm fish stocks.

Leroy Peterson, a Saba fisherman, called the expedition crucial for protecting Saba Bank's unique marine life.

"Some of the scientists actually found new species not located anywhere else," Peterson said. "There should be no-anchor zones. For things to survive there must be stricter controls."


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Source:Conservation International


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