|Native name: Banco de la Plata
|Area||1,680 km2 (650 sq mi)|
Silver Bank (Spanish: Banco de la Plata) is a submerged bank in the Atlantic Ocean north of the Dominican Republic and southeast of the Territory of Turks & Caicos. It covers an area of 1,680 square kilometres (649 square miles). It is separated from Mouchoir Bank in the west by Silver Bank Passage, and from Navidad Bank in the east by Navidad Bank Passage.
Silver Bank is a shallow underwater carbonate platform that almost reaches the ocean's surface in certain areas (60 feet (18 metres) 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 and Navidad Bank Sanctuary (Santuario de los Bancos de la Plata y de la Navidad) 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' (Santuario de Mamíferos Marinos). 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.
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