EBSA – Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas

The EBSAs are special areas in the ocean that serve important purposes, in one way or another, to support the healthy functioning of oceans and the many services that it provides. In 2008, the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 9) adopted the following scientific criteria for identifying ecologically or biologically significant marine areas in need of protection in open-ocean waters and deep-sea habitats. 1. Uniqueness or Rarity, 2. Special importance for life history stages of species, 3. Importance for threatened, endangered or declining species and/or habitats, 4. Vulnerability, Fragility, Sensitivity, or Slow recovery, 4. Biological Productivity, 5. Biological Diversity 6. Naturalness.” EBSAs are identified by states and intergovernmental organizations, in accordance with international law, including the UNCLOS (see definition for UNCLOS).