11% of the North-East Atlantic is now protected

Since 2005, all 12 OSPAR Contracting Parties bordering the North-East Atlantic have nominated sites to the OSPAR Network of MPAs in their national waters. In addition, Contracting Parties to OSPAR have collectively designated 8 MPAs in areas outside of national jurisdiction, including last year’s designation of a high seas MPA of over 600 000 km2 to protect seabirds. The North Atlantic Current and Evlanov Sea basin MPA will protect vitally important feeding and foraging areas for both coastal and migratory seabirds and was identified through tracking data for the first time.

There is still work to do, and in 2021 OSPAR Contracting Parties committed to “further develop its network of marine protected areas (MPAs) and other effective conservation measures (OECMs) to cover at least 30% of the OSPAR Maritime Area to ensure it is representative, ecologically coherent and effectively managed to achieve its conservation objectives” by 2030.

The full article can be found at ospar.org

OSPAR’s newly published MPA status report can be viewed here: https://oap.ospar.org/en/ospar-assessments/committee-assessments/biodiversity-committee/status-ospar-network-marine-protected-areas/assessment-reports-mpa/mpa-2021/

OSPAR’s North-East Atlantic Environment Strategy (NEAES) 2030 details the commitments that OSPAR Contracting Parties have made to protect and conserve the North-East Atlantic and can be viewed here www.ospar.org/convention/strategy