OSPAR consultation on proposed revisions to the nomination proforma for the ’North Atlantic Current and Evlanov Sea basin MPA’

Consultation open until 28 Febuary 2023.


In 2021, the OSPAR Commission designated the North Atlantic Current and Evlanov Sea basin MPA (Decision 2021/1) with the goal of protecting and conserving seabirds and the ecosystems of the waters superjacent to the seabed including their biodiversity and processes that support those populations in accordance with the conservation objectives set out in OSPAR Recommendation 2021/1 on the Management of the North Atlantic Current and Evlanov Sea basin MPA. This site is located in the Area Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) of the OSPAR Maritime Area.

As a part of the designation, it was agreed that by 2023, the OSPAR Commission would examine the case for broadening the conservation objectives of the NACES MPA and the scope of the Decision on the delineation of the MPA in accordance with an agreed Roadmap for further development of the NACES MPA (OSPAR Agreement 2021-08).

In accordance with the Roadmap, a process has been undertaken to review whether there is evidence to support extending the scope of the NACES MPA. At an Extraordinary meeting on 17 November 2022, the OSPAR Commission agreed to undertake a public consultation on a revised nomination proforma that includes new evidence on the case for the inclusion of the seabed, ocean floor and subsoil thereof and additional species and habitats, within the scope of the NACES MPA.

The aim of the consultation is to gather as much information as possible to inform a decision on the amendment of the existing NACES MPA and implications on the recommendations on its management.

In addition to the site being an important foraging area for many species of seabirds in the OSPAR Maritime Area, new evidence presented in the revised nomination proforma has been able to demonstrate clear linkages between the benthic and pelagic systems, explaining why this site is so important for seabirds and supports the implementation of an ecosystem approach. Some of the species identified as using the proposed site are wide ranging and also occur in waters of non-OSPAR states, and such states may be able to provide information not readily available to OSPAR. Additional information on which human activities occur at the site and how they may impact the site would be valuable. Competent authorities regulating human activities in ABNJ may have information on human activities that would assist OSPAR to improve the decision basis for any amendment to the designation.

Background information

OSPAR has the mandate to designate Marine Protected Areas in ABNJ of the OSPAR Maritime Area as described in ‘OSPAR’s Regulatory Regime for establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) on the Area Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) of the OSPAR Maritime Area’ (adopted by OSPAR in 2009). Management of human activities in any OSPAR ABNJ MPA as decided by the OSPAR Commission is only binding on the Contracting Parties of OSPAR.

Information on the MPAs already established by OSPAR in ABNJ in 2010 and 2012 is available here.

Views are invited on the following questions

(i) Can you provide any additional information of relevance on the species, habitats and ecosystems included as a result of the new evidence in the revised nomination proforma of the MPA?

(ii) Can you provide any additional information on current and/or potential future human activities at the site, including their intensity, type and timing?

(iii) Can you provide additional indicative information about current and/or potential future management actions within the site to deliver the proposed revisions to the conservation objectives for the site?

The revised nomination proforma

The proposed revision to the site nomination proforma is available as a pdf here.

By when should views be provided?

The site nomination proforma was made available on this website 1 December 2022.

Views on the nomination proforma are welcomed for 3 months and submitted by 17:00 GMT, 28 February 2023.

How to provide a view?

By e-mail to [email protected]

In your response, please provide views on questions (i)-(iii) as well as your contact details.

If the relevant information you would like to provide is in the format of a published report or similar, please provide this information as an attachment to a message where an explanation is given as to the relevant sections and how the information is proposed to be used.

For more information and any queries

For further information on the process for providing views on the proposed revisions to the NACES MPA nomination proforma or other information in relation to OSPAR work on MPAs please contact the OSPAR Secretariat at the addresses below.

Please address any query to [email protected]