OSPAR High Seas MPAs

Above is a map showing what is the one and only collection (beginnings of a network) of high seas MPAs: 6 new ones + Rainbow Hydrothermal Vent which was protected previously. Totalling 285 000 km2, these six new sites were recently passed by the OSPAR Commission for the Northeast Atlantic at a high level ministerial conference in Bergen, Norway.

There were lots of ups and downs along the way, but the end result is most certainly up.

This could not have been achieved without the persistent efforts of initially WWF, and then later some very forward-thinking EU countries such as The Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, and of course Germany. Also, had the OSPAR Secretariat not been open to stepping out into this untested legal realm, none of this would have happened.

Modern day heroes can be found, and in government and multinational bodies yet!

Let this be an inspiration to us all seeking to protect the high seas.

All the best from Lisbon,


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