Silver Bank

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Silver Bank is an area in the Atlantic Ocean north of the Dominican Republic and southeast of the Territory of Turks & Caicos. It covers an area of 1680 km² [1]. It is separated from Mouchoir Bank in the west by Silver Bank Passage, and from Navidad Bank in the east by Navidad Bank Passage. It is a shallow underwater area that almost reaches the ocean's surface in most areas (60 feet deep in the shallow parts), but is mostly submerged. In its northern reaches many coral heads reach the ocean surface, especially at low tide. Also, amongst the coral heads is the wrecked freighter Polyxeni, most of which is above the surface. Persons can board the Polyxeni only with governmental permission.

Because the Silver Bank is shallow, it is not suitable for large ships to use the area for passage. In fact, any boats in the area should obtain permission before entering the bank.

This area is considered a part of the Dominican Republic, as is Navidad Bank east of it. On Oct. 14, 1986, the Dominican Republic established the Silver Bank Sanctuary to protect this area as a safe haven for sea mammals. On July 5, 1996, a Dominican presidential decree enlarged the area and declared it the Sanctuary for Marine Mammals. The Silver Bank has long been a breeding and calving area for humpback whales.

As such, tourism centers around tours to view the whales and other wildlife.

Just to the southeast is Navidad Bank, also under the jurisdiction of the Dominican Republic.

Silver Bank, Navidad Bank, as well as Mouchoir Bank further northwest, are geographically considered a continuation of the Bahamas.

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Coordinates: 20°32′30″N 69°42′00″W / 20.54167°N 69.70000°W / 20.54167; -69.70000