Ligurian Sea Cetacean Sanctuary

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Map of the sanctuary

Originally called the International Ligurian Sea Cetacean Sanctuary (Ligurian Sea Sanctuary), what is now known as the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals is a Marine Protected Area aimed at the protection of marine mammals (cetaceans). It covers an area of approximately 84,000 km², comprising the waters between Toulon (French Riviera), Capo Falcone (western Sardinia), Capo Ferro (eastern Sardinia) and Fosso Chiarone (Tuscany).

The sanctuary is located in the Ligurian basin of the Mediterranean Sea. In this area all the cetaceans occurring in the Mediterranean can be found at regular intervals. It is believed to be the main feeding ground for Fin Whales in the Mediterranean basin.

The sanctuary was established on 25 November 1999 and is the first (and currently the only) international / High Seas MPA in the world covering areas of the Mediterranean seas of France, Italy, and the Principality of Monaco.

To underline the importance of the sanctuary, it has been added to the Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI) list of the 1999 Barcelona Convention.

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Coordinates: 43°20′18″N 8°39′33″E / 43.33833°N 8.65917°E / 43.33833; 8.65917