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Energy, Climate change, Environment

Marine Protected Areas


This challenge handled the ability to analyse the existing network of Marine Protected Areas with respect to fishery activities & climate change impact, and determined whether the network constituted a representative and coherent network (as described in Arcticle 13 of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive), and to assess whether the current available marine data sets are available and appropriate to the use case, as well as to indicate gaps in the EU data collection framework of that time *.


The Marine Protected Areas challenge attempted to create a number of maps (shape files) to support the assessment of the connectivity of the MPA network in North Atlantic*:

  • List and positions of MPA network in the study  area
  • List and positions of areas of human activities in the study area (IUCN** classification)
  • The distribution of marine ecosystems (percentage coverage of vulnerable marine habitats, ecologically or biologically significant areas and critical areas of vulnerable species for migration, feeding, nesting...) & qualitative results of the assessment of MPAs connectivity, i.e.,whether the network constituted a representative and coherent network (as described in Arcticle 13 in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive).
  • The identification of ocean monitoring systems considered useful in the assessment of how climate change affects the MPA network (network of physical and biological parameters).

*The study area covered the Atlantic  Ocean  north  of  the  equator  up  to  the Arctic  Ocean (as  defined The Arctic Ocean as defined in the CIA factbook and therefore  including  Baffin  Bay,  Barents  Sea,  Beaufort  Sea,  Chukchi  Sea,  East  Siberian  Sea,  Greenland Sea, Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, Kara Sea, Laptev  Sea, Northwest Passage, and other tributary water bodies, but  excluding  the North Sea), including Outermost Regions (Canada, Faroes, Greenland, Iceland, Mexico, Morocco Norway, USA as well as the international waters covered by Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) and North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC).

**International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Team involved

Anouar Hamdi (freelance, lead), IPMA, AZTI

Access to products

The challenge partners ("the producers") were commissioned to perform a number of tests to evaluate marine data according to set user requirements. The table below enables:

  • to discover :
    - the Data Product Specifications (DPS) which describe data products in terms of user requirements according to ISO19131 principles and provide the basis for the quantitative assessment of the Products (Quality measures and scope of application)  and of the Upstream Data sets supplied to- and used by- the challenges to create them.
    - the Results (TDP) which describe the Data Product created together with the quantitative assessments (Quality measures and indicators) and the expert opinion.
  • to download the products (shapefile, excel, pdf) on an "as is" basis. All downloads suppose acceptance of the use limitations described in the “Expert opinion” and the “Legal constraints” accessible using the  link to the Results.
  • to view the spatial data products (Maps) using a webGIS.

    Data product were scored by experts from 1 to 5, resp. inadequate to excellent. The score is mentioned in the last column. “Good” means the Product was achieved to at least 50% of the requirements. “Inadequate” means “Impossible to produce or fails to meet all the objectives (not usable)”.