Europe agrees to create marine protected areas
"We are going to show that we are finally capable of protecting oceans in their entirety and not be closed in by our legal limits,"
- French Ecology and Marine Affairs Minister Jean-Louis Borloo
European countries agreed Friday to create six protected marine areas in the northeast Atlantic in a bid to step up the protection of the region's environment.
The decision was taken at a meeting in the southwestern Norwegian city of Bergen of the OSPAR Commission, a body through which 15 regional countries, along with the European Union, work to protect the environment
of the northeast Atlantic.
They defined six zones or marine protected areas (MPAs) over a total area of 185,000 square kilometres (71,400 square miles) where human activity should be limited.
These zones comprise "a range of vulnerable deep-sea habitats and species", the OSPAR Commission said in a statement, adding that it wanted to create "a precedent" worldwide.