Marine Protected Areas – From paper parks to effective protection

Light blue and yellow-striped Porgy fish swim by a reef near the ocean's surface.

Marine nature matters

Let’s stop biodiversity loss!

Marine restoration & protection can reverse the trend of biodiversity loss, which is taking place at a faster pace in the ocean than on land.
Sign in climate march that reads "ONE WORLD" over an illustration of Earth.

Stepping up the fight against climate change

Marine life & ecosystems are more resilient to climate change in areas fully protected from human activities including fishing.


Bottom trawlers drag heavy nets across the seabed, destroying sensitive ecosystems & decimating fish populations – including sensitive & endangered species.

Protection in practice, not on paper

12% of EU seas are marine protected areas, yet harmful industrial fishing is allowed in 86% of them.

Saving the climate with seagrass!

Seagrass, mangroves & kelp forests absorb carbon 35 times faster than forests.

Our well-being depends on nature

Healthy marine ecosystems are the basis for our own health & well-being, as well as our livelihoods.

The ocean is full of life, from simple plankton all the way up to great whales, and the delicate ecosystems and interactions between sea life help keep our planet’s climate in balance.

This delicate balance is under threat. Human industrial activities, including bottom trawling, that decimate the seabed and fail to protect endangered and sensitive species are putting the ocean and climate at risk. Crises ranging from climate change to biodiversity loss, to environmental degradation show what happens when we push our planet’s boundaries to tipping point.

We urgently need to re-establish a balance with the ocean before it is too late to deal with the consequences. Protection and restoration of marine life and ecosystems will allow us to give the ocean the space it needs to rewild, replenish and support life on earth.

This is the goal of our project ‘From paper parks to effective protection’, bringing together NGOs from across the EU to fight for marine areas that are protected in practice, not just on paper. The project focuses on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) at both EU and national level in Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. Our eleven organisations are united by three common goals:

By restoring and protecting our ocean we can limit the impact of human activities on the climate, reverse biodiversity loss, and futureproof our planet for generations to come. Let’s #RestoreOcean and #RestoreNature!



Seas At Risk logo


Oceana logo

Lead & National Partner, Spain

 Danish Society for Nature Conservation logo

National Partner, Denmark

BUND logo

National Partner, Germany

Irish Wildlife Trust

National Partner, Ireland

The North Sea Foundation logo

National Partner, The Netherlands

Sciaena logo

National Partner, Portugal

Swedish Society for Nature Conservation

National Partner, Sweden


Seas At Risk is committed to recognising and respecting the rights of our partners and stakeholders, as well as employing inclusive decision-making practices. A grievance mechanism has been created to facilitate timely responses and appropriate resolutions to any complaints that may arise from our partners or stakeholders.

Raise a grievance via email:

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