Ecosystem Reference
Ecosystem Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf
Type Sea/Bay/Gulf
Salinity saltwater
Other Names
LME SAU No 7. Northwest Atlantic; northeastern part of US coast, from Cape Hatteras northwards. LME2002, LME2006, SAU 2008. 45° N 38° N - 72° W 60° W
Location Map Northeast_US_Continental_Shelf.png
Size Ref
River Length Area 321974 km2 Drainage Area
Average Depth Max Depth Ref
Surface 15.0 °C Map97.gif
100 Meters Depth 12.0 °C Map98.gif
Description The Northeast Shelf Ecosystem extends from Cape Hatteras to Georges Bank. It is bounded on the east by the Gulf Stream and on the west by the east coast of North America. It encompasses the Slope Sea on the east (waters between the shelf break, at approximately 100 meters, and the inner edge or front of the Gulf Stream), shelf waters in the middle; and coastal and estuarine waters on the west. It is divided into four regions from north to south, including the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank, Southern New England, and Mid-Atlantic Bight. (Sherman et al., 1996a) Each subarea is characterized by distinct bathymetry and circulation. (Sherman et al., 1996a) The region is influenced by winds, climate changes, river runoff, estuarine exchange, tides, and Gulf Stream meanders and rings, producing a complex circulation regime. (Brooks, 1996). Biota found in the region range from estuarine and coastal species to large pelagic predators, whose range includes the Slope Sea on the east. (Smith et al., 1996). Strong temperature gradients from north to south influence species occurrences. (Sherman et al., 1996a) The LME is a highly productive region and is facing pressures from overfishing, land-based inputs of nutrients and toxic materials, and mineral exploration ( Checklists of marine fishes of, e.g., Maryland, Delaware, Philadelphia, Rhode Islands would be best.
Comments on faunal list Area from SAU (November 2015).
Ecosystem Checklist Link
FishBase Literature
Species Families Species Families Reference
641 198 7251
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