Site details

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5 stars - Fully protected as a national park or Natura 2000 site by national legislation
MarBEF Deep Sea and Open Ocean Reference Site

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Sedlo Photo:

Extensive description of site:

The Sedlo Seamount, about 180 km north of the Azores, Sedlo has an elongated shape with three summits rising from nearly 3000m to a little more than 700m below sea level. It is thought to be little, if ever, affected by human activities. summit of Sedlo shows large areas of bare rock, sometimes with a thin layer of sediment, and also bolders and stones of different size.

Habitats present:

Deep-Sea BedRockSandMudBiohermBenthopelagicWater Column
Continental Margin     Epi-pelagic X
Abyssal Plain     Mesopelagic X
Seamounts and
Oceanic Islands flanks
XX  XBathypelagic X

Description of fauna and flora:

On the rock we find a variety of attached-living animals, for example sponges, black corals, stony corals, sea lilies, and sea anemones, as well as moving animals such as seastars and crabs. Shrimps and fish, particularly sharks and deep-sea eels, swim close to the seabed. Only a few colonies of coral have been seen on Sedlo, the largest about the size of a frying pan. Single seagulls, shearwaters, and storm petrels were observed, as well as a few sea turtles and dolphins. During the night, it was observed large squid and Atlantic saury.

Habitat description:

Habitats according to EUNIS classification:

A6.22 Summit communities of seamount, knoll or bank within the mesopelagic zone, i.e. interacting with diurnally migrating plankton
A6.24 Flanks of seamount, knoll or bank
A6.25 Base of seamount, knoll or bank


The nearest harbour is located 80 miles away (Praia da Vitória); an oceanographic vessel is therefore needed. R/V “Arquipélago” is available to produce scientific work in the area (see specifications at: Not accessible during winter. If scientists are outside the Archipelago, there are flights from Lisbon to one of the islands and then a research vessel to the sites. Good port facilities in at least three islands of the Archipelago: Faial; S. Miguel and Terceira. DOP-UAç laboratories (including LabHorta) might be used as a shore support base (distance – 150 miles).


Commitment and ongoing research:

There is an European funded project named OASIS (EVK-CT-2002-00073-OASIS) which is comparing this seamount to the Seine seamount. The project will continue until the end of 2005.

Additional Information:

Melo, O. and G. Menezes 2002. Projecto de acompanhamento da experiência de pesca dirigida ao peixe-relógio (Hoplostethus atlanticus). Relatório final. Arquivos do DOP, Série Estudos, 4: 38p. + Anexes.