Selvagens Islands: The Largest Marine Protected Area with Full Protection in the North Atlantic

The Regional Government of Madeira announced the creation of the largest marine protected area with full protection in Europe and the North Atlantic, covering a territory of 2,677 km2, in an area of 12 nautical miles around the Selvagens Islands. The reserve has hereby significantly been extended, previously being 94,71 km2. All species in this area are now fully protected against all extractive activities.

This decision is backed by years of research by IFCN (Instituto das Florestas e Conservação da Natureza), further scientific studies and data collected through expeditions realized in previous years.

This leading decision is directly supported by the Oceano Azul Foundation, National Geographic | Pristine Seas, and the Waitt Institute, which have all contributed to data collection that scientifically support the decision announced.


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The announcement

© Oceano Azul Foundation | Pedro Sousa

Underwater Photos

© Oceano Azul Foundation | Emanuel Gonçalves




© National Geographic



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© Manu San Felix