Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSA) 2017

Published Date

August 2017

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Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSA) 2017

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This publication will assist seafarers worldwide to approach and navigate near or through PSSAs and act as recommended by the associated protective measures. It provides an overview of all PSSAs designated by the MEPC since 1990 and includes all key ‘legal documents’: Revised PSSA Guidelines, Revised Guidelines to submit a PSSA Proposal to IMO, PSSA Proposal Review and Uniform PSSA Resolution Format.

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A Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) is an area of the marine environment that needs special protection through action by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) because of its significance for recognized ecological, socio-economic, or scientific attributes where such attributes may be vulnerable to damage by international shipping activities. At the time of designation of a PSSA, an associated protective measure (APM), which meets the requirements of the appropriate legal instrument establishing such measure, must have been approved or adopted by IMO to prevent, reduce, or eliminate the threat or identified vulnerability.


IMO is the only international body responsible for assessing proposals for and designating areas as PSSAs and adopting measures applicable to international shipping.


This publication provides the reader with an overview of all PSSAs designated by the MEPC since 1990 and includes all key "legal documents" as follows:

1 Revised PSSA Guidelines;

2 Revised Guidelines to submit a PSSA Proposal to IMO;

3 PSSA Proposal Review Form; and

4 Uniform PSSA Resolution Format.


These texts were designed by the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) to assist Member Governments in the preparation, identification and submission of PSSAs and to provide the MEPC with the information for a robust review method of a PSSA proposal to ensure that the revised PSSA Guidelines are fulfilled.

1 Introduction


2 Legal documents

PSSA Guidelines

Guidance Document for Submission of PSSA Proposals to IMO

PSSA Proposal Review Form

Uniform PSSA Resolution Format


3 PSSAs designated by the Committee since 1990


4 Annexes

Annex 1 – PSSA Guidelines

Annex 2 – Guidance document for submission of PSSA proposals to IMO

Annex 3 – PSSA proposal review form

Annex 4 – Uniform PSSA resolution format

Annex 5 – PSSAs designated since 1990

Annex 6 – Great Barrier Reef PSSA and the Torres Strait PSSA as an extension of the Great Barrier Reef PSSA

Annex 7 – Archipelago of Sabana-Camaguey

Annex 8 – Sea Area around Malpelo Island PSSA

Annex 9 – Sea Area around the Florida Keys PSSA

Annex 10 – Wadden Sea PSSA

Annex 11 – Paracas National Reserve PSSA

Annex 12 – Western European Waters PSSA

Annex 13 – Canary Islands PSSA

Annex 14 – Galapagos Archipelago PSSA

Annex 15 – Baltic Sea Area PSSA

Title: Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSA) 2017
Number of Pages: 150
Product Code: MM1064K
ISBN: ISBN 13: 9789280116045, ISBN 10: 9280116045
Published Date: August 2017
Weight: 1.20 kg
Author: IMO

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