Saba Bank is a large offshore submerged atoll, the largest submarine atoll in the Atlantic Ocean and the third largest of its kind in the world. Part of the Caribbean Netherlands, Saba Bank has some of the richest diversity of marine life in the Caribbean Sea.
Saba Bank Atoll
Saba Bank is a large offshore submerged atoll, the largest actively growing submarine atoll in the Caribbean Sea and the third largest of its kind in the world.
The northeastern side of the atoll lies about 4.3 km (2.7 mi) southwest of the island of Saba and approximately 25 km (15.5 mi) west of St. Eustatius.
Part of the Caribbean Netherlands, the area is significant in terms of its unique ecological, socio-economic, scientific and cultural characteristics. Its extensive coral reefs, fishing grounds and algae beds are among the most diverse and pristine in the Caribbean Sea.
The atoll is a flat-topped seamount rising 1,000 m (3,280 ft) from the surrounding sea floor, crowned by a ring of growing coral reef on its fringes. Its total area is around 2,200 sq km (849 sq mi) while the total reef area has been estimated at approximately 150 sq km (58 sq mi).
About one third of the Saba Bank lies within Saba territorial waters: a 12-nautical-mile (22 km) zone. Around it is an Exclusive Economic Zone of the Netherlands of 200 nautical miles.
Saba Bank National Park
In 2010, the atoll was designated as the Saba Bank National Park, one of the National Parks of the Netherlands and was officially recognized as such in 2012.
The National Park was established in order to safeguard the wealth of biodiversity on the atoll, including sea turtles, migratory Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), thousands of seabirds and more than 200 species of fish.
At 2,700 sq km (1,042 sq mi), the Saba Bank National Park is the largest national park in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In 2012, the atoll became the world's 13th Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) with designation from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Park management is provided by the Saba Bank Management Unit (SBMU), an independently operating organization under the umbrella of the Saba Conservation Foundation (SCF).