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Meeting between the AGOA and Pelagos Sanctuaries in Martinique


As part of the Monaco Explorations, the vessel Yersin, involved in undertaking missions for scientific and mediation purposes, made a port of call in the French West Indies on 26th and 27th October 2017.

On this occasion, the Monegasque section of the Pelagos Agreement, through the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, launched a joint venture between the Pelagos Sanctuary and the AGOA Sanctuary in the French West Indies, both of which are dedicated to the protection of marine mammals.

The Pelagos Sanctuary is a maritime area covering 87 500 km2 and is the subject of an intergovernmental Agreement between Italy, Monaco and France signed in Rome in 1999. The Sanctuary is recognised as a Specially Protected Area of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI) and is the largest Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Mediterranean and the only international Marine Area dedicated to the protection of marine mammals.

The AGOA Sanctuary is a maritime area covering 143 256 km2 in the French West Indies around the islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin and Saint-Barthelemy. It is a Specially Protected Area under the Cartagena Convention.

These two Sanctuaries share a single goal: to ensure a good state of conservation for marine mammals by protecting them and their habitats from the direct or indirect impact of human activities.

The purpose of this first meeting was to outline the similarities and specificities of the two Sanctuaries and to share good practices focused on four main areas:

- cross-border cooperation - governance;

- federation of MPAs and natural parks included in the Sanctuaries;

- partnership charter with communities, twinning project between Italian communities under Pelagos and French communities on the mainland and AGOA / environmental education-awareness;

- comparison of the efficiency of common management measures (supervision of whale watching activities and measures to reduce collisions).

A feedback session regarding the work took place in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco aboard Yersin. This resulted in a schedule being defined for future meetings in order to continue international exchanges with a view to the reinforced and effective protection of marine mammals, migratory species and sentinels of the quality of our marine environment.