Designating an IMO Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) is a recognition that the identified area may be vulnerable to potential impacts of international shipping.
In a PSSA, associated protective measures can be proposed and adopted, such as ship routeing systems, for example, areas to be avoided by ships or no-anchoring areas.
But first, the area needs to be identified. A sub-regional workshop in Nosy-Be, Madagascar (5 -7 November) is helping participants from Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa and the United Republic of Tanzania, to identify potential marine areas that could be designated as PSSAs
Marine areas may be designated a PSSA if they fulfil a number of criteria, including: ecological criteria, such as unique or rare ecosystem, diversity of the ecosystem or vulnerability to degradation by natural events or human activities; social, cultural and economic criteria, such as significance of the area for recreation or tourism; and scientific and educational criteria, such as biological research or historical value.