Bay of Biscay

In addition, because this marine area encompasses almost 300,000 km2 within its territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone, the Galicia-Bay of Biscay area is Spain’s second largest ocean area after Canarian waters. Despite this, only 250,000 ha are protected, in other words, less than 1%. Ninety-four percent of this protected area corresponds to the recently … Read more

Gorringe Bank

In 2005, during Oceana’s last expedition to the area, onboard the Oceana Ranger research catamaran, the organization identified around 36 species that had never been previously documented in the seamounts of the Northeast Atlantic. The results were published in the report ‘Seamounts of the Gorringe,” which makes an initial characterization of this submarine elevation and … Read more


The waters within Portugal’s EEZ have few marine protected areas (MPAs), and those that do exist are small and cover only coastal areas and as such, many species and habitats of great ecological importance remain unprotected. Only in the case of Ilhas Berlengas, is an area further off the coast protected, but it focuses on … Read more

Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Over 50% of Europe’s territory is covered by sea, but Europe’s marine environment is highly threatened by both pollution and the dramatic loss of marine species and habitats. The June 2008 Marine Strategy Framework Directive is the first EU binding law designed to make a significant contribution to the preservation, protection and restoration of marine ecosystems, including … Read more

Natura 2000 Network

These protected areas constitute the Natura 2000 Network. In the first stage, Member States nominate protection areas, known as Sites of Community Importance (SCIs), which are thus subject to a preventive protection regime. Afterwards, in a maximum period of 6 years, the corresponding management plans must be drawn up and, once they are ready, the … Read more

Marine Protected Areas

    Banning bottom trawling in Europe’s marine protected areas An area one third of Europe’s continent is impacted by trawling in European waters every year. Bottom-towed gear is widely used in the EU, including inside marine protected areas, with some studies indicating a higher intensity of trawling inside than outside designated areas. Indeed, a … Read more


Because the species managed by ICCAT are highly migratory, their management depends on cooperation among the countries that capture them. For example, management measures applied in just one part of a highly migratory species’ range are likely to be of limited use, while overfishing in one location could have detrimental effects on stocks shared among … Read more