Welcome to NACES!

Welcome to NACES! This 600,000 km2 Marine Protected Area in the Northeast Atlantic was discovered through a huge collaborative effort led by BirdLife International and is a major hotspot for over 5 million seabirds and several threatened species. Take a deep breath and dive straight into it – you will discover the marine species that depend on it and why it’s crucial to protect all of NACES, including the seafloor!

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Arctic Tern
Fish shoal

Additional conservation features can strengthen the protection of this area

The seafloor ecosystems of NACES are key to safeguard the trophic chains which support the biodiversity above, including seabirds.

Much scientific research explicitly links upper-ocean properties and dynamics to the ecology and biogeochemistry of the seafloor, which is why marine protected areas must be fully protected, from sea surface to seafloor.

In a world where nature at sea is constantly threatened by human activities, the overexploitation of natural resources, and climate change, a holistic approach that accounts for entire ecosystems and their connections is essential.

Unfortunately, OSPAR did not include the seafloor of NACES in the final designation of the site. This is why the BirdLife Partnership calls on the OSPAR Commission to vote for the protection of additional conservation features, including the seafloor in June 2023. Keep scrolling and sign our petition to support us.

Shoal of fish

Why is it important to include the seafloor?

Seafloor ecosystems are key to safeguard the food chain that all species depend on. The fluidity of water means that marine ecosystems – from water column to seafloor – are intrinsically connected. Any alterations (e.g. from human activities) in one of these two elements is bound to affect and disturb the other.

Among the visitors of the area, we can find iconic species such as the Atlantic Puffin, the Arctic Tern, and the Little Auk. But this area is not only important for seabirds. Under the surface, the NACES Marine Protected Area is home to abundant and diverse marine biodiversity. The site is important for several threatened species such as Blue Whales, Leatherback Turtles, Loggerhead Turtles, Atlantic Bluefin Tunas, Basking Sharks, Corals, and Deep-Sea Sponges. Without a protected seafloor, this haven for nature will stay at risk.

What is the scientific evidence supporting protection of the seafloor?

  • Seafloor Biodiversity

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  • Ecosystems

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  • Carbon Storage

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