Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems




(Suppl. 2)




1. This paper explores how criteria to identify important marine mammal areas (IMMAs) could be developed, and nested in existing global criteria. This process would consider 134 species of marine mammals. 2. Particular attention is given to two suites of global criteria to identify areas important for the persistence of marine biodiversity: Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs) developed through the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) in revision through the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They are seen as mutually complementary in the development of IMMAs. 3. The specificities necessary for identifying important areas at scales below the global level may vary according to the region, the biophysical requirements of distinct populations, and available data. Refining and testing the applicability of these global criteria on marine mammals at both regional and national scales will be necessary. 4. Combining area-based measures with non-spatial management actions will likely be the optimal approach for ensuring marine mammal persistence given their highly migratory nature and widespread life-history stages. 5. Capacity to enact IMMAs is strengthened by the existence of professional marine mammal associations and networks, and the recently formed IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force (MMPATF). The MMPATF is planning further development of IMMA criteria through joint work with the International Committee on Marine Mammal Protected Areas (ICMMPA).


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Original Publication Citation

Corrigan, C. M., Ardron, J. A., Comeros-Raynal, M. T., Hoyt, E., Di Sciara, G. N., & Carpenter, K. E. (2014). Developing important marine mammal area criteria: Learning from ecologically or biologically significant areas and key biodiversity areas. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 24((Suppl. 2)), 166-183. doi:10.1002/aqc.2513