Protection of Marine Species and Habitats

Credit: A. FreiwaldWhile key protected areas, the Wadden Sea for example, have been established in near shore and coastal waters, important offshore sites are still being ignored. The ocean floor is far from a flat, nondescript plain. Deep beneath the surface waters are canyons, ridges and mountains which support their own characteristic wildlife. Deep sea fishing and mining are expected to expand and thus may threaten species and their habitats which were once considered to be too remote to be affected by human activity. There is a need to ensure viable populations of offshore species, such as whales and dolphins, sharks, deepwater fish and invertebrates, for which little or no protection currently exists. WWF would like to see a representative network of marine protected areas throughout the North-East Atlantic in order to safeguard the diversity of marine wildlife and maintain the natural dynamics of coastal and marine ecosystems.
further objectives