France Protected Areas

An active site-oriented conservation strategy has been developed since April 2006, of the law relative to the establishment of Marine Natural Parks and the creation of the Agency for Marine Protected Areas whose aims are: to support public policies in the field of marine protected areas, regarding both their creation and their management, to manage the human and financial resources dedicated to Marine Natural Parks, to give technical and administrative support to managers of marine protected areas.

Among the network of MPA, several Marine Natural Parks (Parcs Naturels Marins, PNM) have been created. The PNM d'Iroise, located off the west coast of Brittany, was established in 2007; the PNM du Golfe du Lion, located in the north-western Mediterranean Sea, was created in 2011; the PNM de Mayotte and PNM des Glorieuses are two contiguous marine natural parks spreading over 110,000 km2 in the northern Mozambique Channel, south-west Indian Ocean, established in 2010 and 2012 respectively. More recently, the PNM des Estuaires Picards et de la Côte d’Opale and the PNM du Bassin d’Arcachon have been created in 2012 and 2014 respectively. Finally, the PNM de l'estuaire de la Gironde et de la mer des Pertuis and the PNM du Cap Corse et de l'Agriate were created in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The PNM de Martinique to be created soon would terminate this series of Marine Natural Parks. Although none of these parks has been specifically designated for the conservation of cetacean, most of them are home to significant populations of cetaceans. Finally, the Coral Sea Marine Park, extending over its 1.3 million-km2 EEZ, was created by the Government of New Caledonia in April 2014, and, in the Caribbean, the EEZ around Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy was declared in 2010 a sanctuary for marine mammals named the Agoa sanctuary.

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France's protected natural areas cover approximately 23.5% of waters.