Within its Convention Area, NAFO has identified 26 areas as being vulnerable to bottom contact gears and subsequently closed these areas to bottom fishing (see Article 17 of the NAFO CEM). NAFO has also delineated existing bottom fishing areas (footprint) to regulate bottom fisheries that cause a significant adverse impact on vulnerable marine ecosystems.
The VME closed areas are divided into two categories, the blue areas in the map below represent the seamount closures, and the red areas represent the sponge, coral, and seapen closures. As reflected in Article 17 of the NAFO CEM, no vessel shall engage in bottom fishing activities in any of these areas. The coordinates for these areas are provided in Article 17 of the NAFO CEM.