In order to recognize an area that might be vulnerable to the impacts of international shipping, the area is designated as an IMO Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA).
Protective measures like as ship routeing systems, for example, areas to be avoided by ships or no-anchoring areas can be proposed and adopted in PSSA.
For this the identification of the area is to be done. In Nosy-Be, Madagascar a sub regional workshop was help to help the participants from Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa and the United Republic of Tanzania, to identify the marine areas that could possibly be named as PSSAs.
Marine Areas can be designated as PSSA if a number of criteria’s is fulfilled which includes, ecological criteria, like unique or rare ecosystem, diversity of the ecosystem or vulnerability to degradation by natural events or human activities; social, cultural and economic criteria, like importance of the area for recreation or tourism; and scientific and educational criteria, like biological research or historical value.
The major focus of the workshop is to improve the awareness about PSSAs, identification of the present status of the protected areas and the maritime shipping activities in the region especially the Mozambique Channel, and discussing and agreeing on areas that might also be considered PSSA candidates. The Agence Portuaire Maritime et Fluviale from Madagascar is facilitating the workshop in collaboration with IMO.
The UN SDG 14 on the oceans is being supported completely by the work of IMO on PSSAs. Till now 17 PSSAs have been designated which also includes two extensions.