Europe and Central Asia

Marine Natura 2000 network

© Pep Arcos

The information presented therein represents the most accurate assessment of seabird protection in the European Union. Download the full report or select a country below.

The marine Natura 2000 network provides Member States with a legislative tool to protect our marine biodiversity. However, many countries have been extremely slow at designating protected areas for seabirds, especially at sea. Within the EU, the BirdLife Partnership has been at the forefront of site identification for seabirds. Using cutting edge science and rigorous scientific criteria, BirdLife has a identified Marine Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (marine IBAs), recognised as a ‘shadow list’ of sites for Natura 2000 designation.

To produce this report, we have assessed the 23 coastal EU states based on the level of protection afforded to marine IBAs through EU Special Protected Areas (terrestrial, inshore and offshore waters).


Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.