Ecosystem Reference
Ecosystem Southeast U.S. Continental Shelf
Type Sea/Bay/Gulf
Salinity saltwater
Other Names
LME SAU No 6. Western Central Atlantic, from southern Florida to Cape Hatteras. LME2002, LME2006, SAU 2008. 38° N 25° N - 81° W 69° W
Location Map Southeast_US_Continental_Shelf.png
Size Ref
River Length Area 301676 km2 Drainage Area
Average Depth Max Depth Ref
Surface 23.0 °C Map137.gif
100 Meters Depth 20.5 °C Map138.gif
Description The U.S. Southeast Shelf Ecosystem extends from the Straits of Florida to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The South Atlantic Bight, that portion of the ecosystem from Cape Canaveral, Florida to Cape Hatteras, has a shelf width of 50-200 km and an area of 90,600 km2. The Southeast U.S. Continental Shelf LME is characterized by bays and sounds with extensive coastal marshes. These wetlands form unique habitats that provide important links to production of living marine resources. A 10 to 20 km-wide coastal zone is characterized by high levels of plankton production throughout the year, while offshore, on the middle and outer shelf, upwelling along the Gulf Stream front and intrusions from the Gulf Stream cause short-lived plankton blooms. Many commercially important fish species occur on the shelf. The coastal shrimp fishery is also important, accounting for 10% of the total tonnage landed from the South Atlantic region fisheries. (
Comments on faunal list Area from SAU (November 2015).
Ecosystem Checklist Link
FishBase Literature
Species Families Species Families Reference
1158 201 7251
Comments & Corrections
Back to Search
cfm script by eagbayani, 23.12.02 ,  php script by cgarilao, 15/10/08 ,  last modified by sortiz, 06.27.17