The Josephine Seamount is an area of approximately 19,370 km2 and is a component of the OSPAR Network of Marine Protected Areas. Located to the east of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, between Madeira and mainland Portugal, it rises to within 170m of the surface and is associated with several other seamounts. It is one of six OSPAR MPAs situated in an Area Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ). The first seamount discovered as a direct result of oceanic explorations, Josephine Seamount has been found to have high biodiversity, with high incidence of rare and previously unknown species as well as commercial fish species. The boundaries of the MPA were chosen to also include a portion of an adjacent unnamed seamount.
As of Decmber 2010, the OSPAR Network of MPAs comprises a total of 181 sites, including 175 MPAs situated within national waters of Contracting Parties (CP) and six ABNJ MPAs. Collectively, these sites cover 439,679 km² or 3.15 % of the OSPAR maritime area in the North-East Atlantic. As the vast majority of sites have been designated in CPs‟ territorial waters, overall coverage of coastal waters by OSPAR MPAs is consequently higher at 14.1%. Overall coverage of offshore areas, i.e. the Exclusive Economic Zones of CPs, by OSPAR MPAs remains very low at 0.56%. The distribution of MPAs across the five OSPAR Regions is likewise imbalanced, resulting in major gaps of the MPA Network. The Greater North Sea, the Wider Atlantic and the Celtic Seas are the best represented OSPAR Regions, with 6.25%, 4.65%, and 3.53% coverage by OSPAR MPAs respectively. While coverage of the Arctic Waters is at 1.36%, the Bay of Biscay and Iberian Coast has less than 1% protected by OSPAR MPAs.
The aims of the OSPAR MPA Network are:
to protect, conserve and restore species, habitats and ecological processes which have been adversely affected by human activities;
to prevent degredation of, and damage to, species, habitats and ecological processess, following the precautionary principle; and
to protect and conserve areas that best represent the range of species, habitats and ecological processes in the maritime area.
Contacts & Resources
Original data record from World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) via ProtectedPlanet.net [view record on site].