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coastThe OSPAR Commission for the Protection of the Marine Environment for the North East Atlantic plays a major part in safeguarding and conserving the habitats and species of the marine environment.

At the OSPAR Commission meeting in Bremen on June 25 2003, Ministers committed to the following work being undertaken by 2010:

  • Setting up a network of ecologically coherent OSPAR Marine Protected Areas
  • Analysis of listed human activities which are capable of causing adverse damage to the marine environment and the measures necessary to address this in the light of this analysis
  • Creation of an effective tool for integrating action across the whole marine environment via the North Sea pilot project which aims to produce a coherent suite of ecological quality objectives.
  • Taking measures to protect coral reefs.

The Scottish Government is currently working with SNH, JNCC, Defra and the other devolved government administrations to take forward these commitments. It reported 29 sites as an initial contribution to the OSPAR MPA network in 2006.