PSSA Interactive Display Launched at IMO
Friday, May 17, 2013
Mr. Sekimizu addressed the audience before the official opening saying: "I hope that it will galvanise further efforts to identify and protect more of these special areas throughout the world.” (Photo: IMO)

A new interactive display on Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSA) has been launched at IMO Headquarters and online at

A PSSA is an area that needs special protection through action by IMO because of its significance for recognized ecological or socio-economic or scientific reasons and which may be vulnerable to damage by international maritime activities. To date, IMO has designated 14 PSSAs.

The new display and website include videos, pictures, maps, and graphic displays, telling the unique story of each of the 14 PSSAs, together with a special insight on IMO’s work on this topic, past, present and future.

The display and website have been funded with the support of generous contributions from Australia, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea and Sweden.

Speaking at the launch on Thursday, May 16, IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu said the new display would serve as a continual reminder and a celebration of the substantial contribution that has been made to environmental protection through IMO’s PSSA scheme.

“It is my great hope that this ground-breaking display that we are going to formally inaugurate this evening will serve as a continual reminder and a celebration of the substantial contribution that has been made to environmental protection through IMO’s PSSA scheme”, Mr. Sekimizu said. “But, more than that, I hope that it will galvanise further efforts to identify, and protect, more of these special areas throughout the world.”

The PSSAs designated by IMO to date are:

-The Great Barrier Reef, Australia (designated a PSSA in 1990)
-The Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago in Cuba (1997)
-Malpelo Island, Colombia (2002)
-The sea around the Florida Keys, United States (2002)
-The Wadden Sea, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands (2002)
-Paracas National Reserve, Peru (2003)
-Western European Waters (2004)
-Extension of the existing Great Barrier Reef PSSA to include the Torres Strait (proposed by Australia and Papua New Guinea) (2005)
-Canary Islands, Spain (2005)
-The Galapagos Archipelago, Ecuador (2005)
-The Baltic Sea area, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden (2005)
-The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, United States (2007)
-The Strait of Bonifacio, France and Italy (2011)
-The Saba Bank, in the North-eastern Caribbean area of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (2012)

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