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MAIA, developing a network of MPAs on the Atlantic coast

MAIA, a European cooperation project, aims to create a network of managers and parties involved in marine protected areas.
This technical group, that makes proposals at an international level in terms of definition, governance and management, works on the deployment of a representative, coherent, efficient, and accepted network of marine protected areas along the Atlantic coast.

Objective: sharing our experience

From the Shetland Islands to the Azores, from the United Kingdom to Portugal, the conservation of marine biodiversity is at the heart of national and international preoccupations, notably, through the creation of marine protected areas.
Behind the "MPA" acronym (marine protected area), there is a diversity of tools, approaches, and end points that it is important to understand better.
The objective of MAIA partners is to promote and share this wealth and these differences to better understand and therefore promote the development of a network of coherent, efficient, and accepted marine protected areas along the Atlantic coast.

The project’s offical website :

To accompany this process, the MAIA European cooperation project:

  • Promotes and provides structure for the sharing of experiences, the pooling of approaches and knowledge;
  • Works on the creation of common methodologies;
  • Participates in the emergence of a technical network of marine protected area managers.

2010 – 2012 action plan

Technical workshops on management problems common to the marine protected areas of the Atlantic Arc:

  • the setting up of indicators in MPAs, management strategies;
  • the definition and implementation of management plans;
  • the integration of people in the MPA definition and management process.

These workshops bring together the numerous people involved in the definition and management of marine protected areas: managers, scientists, users of the sea including fishery professionals.
Visits to sites in each partner country in order to exchange information and share knowledge and know-how between countries and marine protected area managers.

A dedicated website that includes:

  • a private collaborative area;
  • a document database;
  • an SIG database feeding the geo-portal and the dynamic editorial pages.

This database will enable a reference point of the state of marine protected areas on the Atlantic coast to be created.
Field studies carried out by partners that meet their own requirements and feed exchanges within the network.
The creation and distribution of documentary resources: field studies, crossover analysis, methodological guides, workshop reports and themed documents on MPAs.

MAIA: a European project

MAIA is financed by the Interreg IV B Atlantic Area programme within the framework of priority 2 "protecting, securing, and sustainably promoting the marine and coastal environment".
Coming from four European countries (United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal) the nine project partners are involved in the definition and management of marine protected areas. The Agence des Aires Marines Protégées is the project leader.

The MAIA project partnership

United Kingdom
Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC)

Natural England
South West Food and Drink – Finding Sanctuary

Agence des Aires Marines Protégées (AAMP)
Association du Grand Littoral Atlantique (AGLIA)
Comité National des Pêches et des Elevages Marins (CNPMEM)

Xunta de Galicia – Consellería do Mar
Universidad de A Coruña – Recursos Marinos y Pesquerías

Instituto Nacional do Recursos Biológico I.P. (INRB I.P./IPIMAR)
Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e da Biodiversidade (ICNB)