This correspondence to the scientific journal Nature stresses the importance of setting appropriate levels of protection for each of the basins of France’s exclusive economic zone.

The letter states that the French Government plans to establish more than 20 new protected areas by 2022. It is shown that in the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, the country’s Ecological Defence Council intends to create several large MPAs that will together meet France Government’s objective for MPAs to cover 30% of France’s exclusive economic zone, and for one-third of these areas to be “strongly protected”.

In relation to what “strongly protected” means, the author states that the French Biodiversity Agency is still working on a definition of it, and proposes that the term should be confined to full and high protection, as defined by the MPA Guide1.

It is concluded that only such stringent levels are likely to deliver the expected ecological benefits and the author underlines that France’s targets must therefore include each of the French sea basins and not concentrate just in some of them.


Claudet J (2019) France must impose strict levels of marine protection. Nature 570:36.