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Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas

Some areas of the world’s oceans and seas need special protection from shipping.  This is to make sure they are not damaged by the effects that ships can cause. 

IMO has recognised 14 of these Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas, as they are known, that need this special protection. This is based on any of the following factors:

When ships are sailing through these special areas, IMO requires that special actions must be taken to help protect the area.  This might be changing the route of the ship to avoid certain parts of the area, or the ship having to send a report about going through the area.

All fourteen of these Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas can be seen on the interactive website. They include large areas like the Great Barrier Reef off Australia and the Western European Waters - covering thousands of miles, as well as the sea around small islands, like the Malpelo Island in the Pacific Ocean.

For your geography work you could plot the Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas on your own map.  What parts of the world are they in?  What countries might be affected if these areas were harmed?  How would they be affected?  Do you think there could be some Particularly Sensitive Land Areas, and if so, where do you think they might be – in your country, around the world?

Do you know of any other organisations that exist to help protect the environment and vulnerable areas or wildlife?

If you have explored all the topics on these webpages, you should be able to list the five problems that ships and shipping can have on Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas.