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Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Area (EBSAs)

Surrounded by ocean, Japan has been deeply related to the sea since ancient times.
In addition to the blessings of marine products, Japan has enjoyed all kinds of goods and services from the ocean, including mineral resources and energy, as well as sea transportation and various marine leisure activities. The ocean also supports our lives through climate stability on a global scale and plays a huge role in the cycling of materials.

Despite the oceans’ great importance in these matters, its environment is worsening due to the impacts of coastal development, overexploitation, pollution runoff, rising water temperatures, and ocean acidification. This has led to strong demands to conserve the marine environment, both domestically and internationally.

In light of these circumstances, EBSAs have been identified for contributing to the implementation of the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of the ocean. These EBSAs are clearly identified through a scientific and objective approach from ecological and biological perspectives. As a result of three years’ worth of an EBSA identification process beginning in the 2011 fiscal year, 270 EBSAs in coastal areas, 20 EBSAs in surfaces of offshore area, and 31 EBSAs on the seafloor (in offshore area) have been identified.

These EBSAs identified in Japan are expected to be used in the promotion and implementation of various measures and government plans for marine biodiversity conservation.