Brazilian Atlantic Islands: Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas Reserves

Brazilian Atlantic Islands: Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas Reserves

Thu, 11/15/2018 - 14:16
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Peaks of the Southern Atlantic submarine ridge form the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago and Rocas Atoll off the coast of Brazil. They represent a large proportion of the island surface of the South Atlantic and their rich waters are extremely important for the breeding and feeding of tuna, shark, turtle and marine mammals.

Of indescribable beauty, the Fernando de Noronha Marine National Park, located at a distance of about 340 km off the Brazilian coast, is formed by volcanic peaks of a submerged mountain chain. Nearly 70% of the main island of Fernando de Noronha, 21 smaller islands and islets of the archipelago, as well as most adjacent waters to a depth of 50 m (164 ft) are part of the property.

The Atol das Rocas Biological Reserve, the only atoll in the South Atlantic, is located about 150 km (93 mi) west of Fernando de Noronha. It is an elliptical reef including two small islands surrounded by a marine reserve. With these two protected areas, the property covers an area of 42,270 ha (104,450 acres) and a buffer zone of 140,713 ha (347,700 acres).

At the heart of a vast ocean surface, the Brazilian Atlantic Islands form an oasis of fertile waters, which are extremely important breeding and living places for tuna, shark, turtle and marine mammals, and which play a crucial role in the natural fish restocking of the region. Two species of sea turtle breed there: the hawksbill and green turtle, for which the Rocas Atoll is considered the second most important breeding site of Brazil.

These islands are home to the largest concentration of tropical seabirds in the Western Atlantic, and include the only examples of Insular Atlantic Forest and the only oceanic mangrove in the South Atlantic.

Dolphin Bay (Baía dos Golfinhos) hosts an exceptional population of resident dolphin, and at low tide, Rocas Atoll provides a spectacular seascape of lagoons and tidal pools teeming with fish and a great variety of shellfish, sponges, molluscs, corals, etc.