PSSAs are for all types of pollution and not restricted to any Annex of MARPOL.

Each PSSA needs its own particular protection regime, so specific Associated Protective Measures (APM) are introduced for each. These APMs might consist of areas to be avoided, compulsory ship routing, ship reporting, or recommendations on how shipping should pass through an area.

There are fourteen PSSAs, located all over the world. Some are large, like the Western European Waters, and some protect tiny gems of nature like Malpelo Island in the Pacific Ocean. 

The following PSSAS have been designated:

  • The Great Barrier Reef, Australia (designated a PSSA in 1990)
  • The Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago in Cuba (1997)
  • Malpelo Island, Colombia (2002)
  • The sea around the Florida Keys, United States (2002)
  • The Wadden Sea, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands (2002)
  • Paracas National Reserve, Peru (2003)
  • Western European Waters (2004)
  • Extension of the existing Great Barrier Reef PSSA to include the Torres Strait (proposed by Australia and Papua New Guinea) (2005)
  • Canary Islands, Spain (2005)
  • The Galapagos Archipelago, Ecuador (2005)
  • The Baltic Sea area, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden (2005)
  • The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, United States (2007)
  • The Strait of Bonifacio, France and Italy (2011)
  • The Saba Bank, in the North-eastern Caribbean area of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (2012)
  • Extension of Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait to encompass the south-west part of the Coral Sea (2015)
List of PSSAS

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