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 ?
Rosa Garcia-Orellan's Terranova provides answers to these unasked questions by detailing the history of the industrial Spanish cod fishery on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland in the twentieth century.
For more than 80 years the wreck of HMS Titanic has lain on the Atlantic ocean bottom, 3800 m deep, off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.
He had found the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, the world's largest fish breeding ground.
They said the same thing about the Grand Banks of Newfoundland which were totally fished out and the same thing was said about herring in the North Sea, yet they are also fished out.