What is the Charlie-Gibbs Marine Protected Area?

The Charlie-Gibbs Marine Protected Area (CG-MPA) is part of the first set of six new conservation areas that has ever been established in international waters in the North Atlantic. This zone includes all waters seawards of the 200 mile so-called Exclusive Economic Zone of coastal States, and all the seafloor beyond the limits of national jurisdiction on the continental shelves. The southern part of the CG-MPA was announced in 2010 by the OSPAR Commission to protect the unique natural features associated with the Mid-Atlantic Ridge south of the so-called Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone. In this area polar and southern waters meet, and form a permanent but mobile front in the surface waters with a particularly high productivity and species richness.

The declaration of the CG-MPA demonstrates that the conservation of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction is possible and has set a well respected example for the rest of the world.