Areas beyond national jurisdiction - the high seas - are those marine areas outside of the 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone of each coastal nation. These waters cover about half of Earth’s surface and make up about two-thirds of the world’s ocean. Even though this vast area hosts a major share of the world’s biodiversity, from the plankton at the beginning of the ocean food chain to the blue whale, very little protection or management exists.
However, several treaties and varying efforts to manage and even protect some important high seas areas are in place. Although more protections are needed, these management efforts are a start in the right direction to help maintain long-term ocean health by protecting important habitats and the marine organisms that depend on them. Protected Seas has created an interactive map that provides detailed information on different types of high seas managed areas, including treaty areas, regulated management and protected areas, and unregulated areas in need of protection.
This map is provided as a free public resource to raise awareness about and further the goals of marine protected areas. In order to make this map as comprehensive as possible, we work with organizations and governmental agencies around the world that provide datasets to us, including boundary and regulatory information. If you can help us build our map by providing data from your region, please visit our Submit Data page.