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November 27, 2012

New EU Marine Protected Areas

© OCEANA / Carlos Suárez


It’s always good news when new marine protected areas are put in place; and good news is always a cause for a celebration.

This week, the European Commission adopted an updated list of Natura 2000 sites which includes new additions submitted by several Member States (Denmark,  Estonia, Latvia, Malta, Sweden and the UK). These areas will now protect a wide range of habitats including seagrass meadows, underwater forests, sandbanks and reefs as well as several important feeding, nursery and spawning grounds for many commercial fisheries.

This is great news, and it brings Europe a bit closer to reaching its objective marine protected coverage. Nevertheless, we are nowhere near where we should be, so let’s keep the pressure and make sure Member States don’t ignore their commitments.