Only a few small areas of the ecoregion have been mapped with acoustic methods,
and there is even less direct evidence in the form of visual surveys or benthic
sampling. Some areas have undoubtedly been affected by fishing, but most
studies are inconclusive with respective to the scale and significance of the effect.
There are no time-series or repeated studies from the ecoregion, although a recent
increase in research activity in the area provides baseline data for the future.
There is thus limited scope for currently assessing the state of benthic
habitats, or for making judgements based on past states and temporal changes. As
deep-sea fishing does not generally operate at depths beyond 1600 m, it
can be assumed that direct fishing effects have only occurred in areas
shallower than this.