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News|02 Apr, 2004

New hope for sensitive sea areas!


Gland, Switzerland – WWF welcomes today’s decision by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to classify the Baltic Sea, the Galapagos Islands, and the Canary Islands as Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSAs).

PSSA designation requires ships to take special care when navigating through such areas, and allows the IMO to choose the best protective measures.

It is a tool that WWF has been promoting to protect areas such as the Baltic Sea, the Galapagos, and the Canary Islands from major oil accidents for many years.

“The IMO has sent a clear message to the world that sub-standard shipping is not acceptable for the Baltic Sea, the Galapagos, and the Canary Islands,” said Dr Simon Walmsley, Head of WWF’s delegation at the IMO meeting this week. “Oil will travel first class in these areas, which are among the most sensitive in the world.”

WWF encourages the Baltic Sea States, Ecuador, and Spain to develop and propose effective measures to strengthen the safety of shipping in these areas, such as establishing strictly separated shipping traffic lane, and setting up compulsory pilotage systems.

WWF also calls on the Russian Federation to add its waters to the Baltic Sea PSSA. At this week’s IMO meeting, Russia had proposed to block the designation of the three PSSAs.

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For further information:

Peter Bryant
WWF Endangered Seas Programme
Tel.: +41 22 364 9028

Olivier van Bogaert
WWF International Press Office
Tel.: +41 22 364 9554

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Last modified 10/01/20

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