Grand Banks


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Grand Banks,

submarine plateau rising from the continental shelf, c.36,000 sq mi (93,200 sq km), off SE Newfoundland, N.L., Canada. It is c.300 mi (480 km) long and c.400 mi (640 km) wide; depths range from 20 to 100 fathoms. The cold Labrador Current flows over most of the banks; the warmer Gulf Stream sweeps along the eastern edge, sometimes crossing the southern part. The Grand Banks are noted for the persistent dense fog (formed as warm air passes over the cold water) that engulfs the area. The mingling of the two currents along with the shallowness of the water forms a favorable environment for plankton and other small sea life upon which cod, haddock, halibut, and other fish feed. Lobsters are also found there. Fog, icebergs, and the nearby transatlantic shipping lanes make fishing hazardous. The Grand Banks were probably the world's most important international fishing ground until 1977, when Canada extended its offshore jurisdiction to include most of the area. Many of the commercial species, however, were overfished and depleted by the early 1990s. Oil drilling began on the banks in the late 1970s, but was slowed after the loss of the Ocean Ranger rig on Feb. 15, 1982.

Grand Banks

[′grand ¦baŋks]
(geography)
Banks off southeastern Newfoundland, important for cod fishing.
References in periodicals archive ?
Much of the cod fished on the Grand Banks was taken by foreign vessels, but because the supply of cod seemed inexhaustible, no one minded.
For a significant part of the Grand Banks margin, the most seaward outer constraint under Article 76 is formed by the 2500 m (isobath) +100 nm limit.
Boats from France, Spain, Portugal, and England fished the Grand Banks.
In 1993, commercial fishers in the Grand Banks region agreed to an indefinite moratorium on cod fishing.
Another population spawns on the nutrient-rich Grand Banks, a vast series of underwater hills sunk in shallow water off the Newfoundland coast.
On the Grand Banks off Newfoundland, the northern limit of the barndoor skate's range, the fish has proved even rarer.
In the immediately preceding months, Federal Fisheries Minister Brian Tobin was in the daily spotlight defending the cod stocks on the Grand Banks from abduction by sea captains from Spain.
If this sounds fanciful, what are we to make of ancient pine and beech stumps that Grand Banks fishermen sometimes hoist from the deeps--with soil still clinging to the roots?
In Canada, where 40,000 workers have been idled by the collapse of the Grand Banks cod fishery, officials have been particularly vocal about what could happen if the United Nations fails to control trawlers registered in countries that are not members of regional regulatory groups.
Hibernia is located on the Grand Banks approximately 315 kilometers offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, in approximately 90 meters of water.
The Southeast Grand Banks 2D covers an initial 15,000 km to infill the existing TGS NF 101 Tail of the Bank 2D survey acquired in 2000, where it is expected the C-NLOPB will announce future AOIs.