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National Marine Sanctuaries

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NOAA Enters New Partnership with French Marine Protected Areas Agency

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With the signing of a new agreement, U.S. and French marine protected area experts are embarking on a five-year effort to exchange ideas and experience. Initially, the partnership will focus on MPAs in the Pacific region, to include NOAA's Fagatale Bay National Marine Sanctuary in American Samoa (shown here).

On November 17, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries signed a partnership agreement with its newest international partner, France's Agence des Aires Marine Protégées (AAMP).

The agreement sets the stage for a five-year collaboration that will focus on an exchange of experience and expertise in various realms of marine protected area (MPA) designation and management.

Several Pacific projects are already being discussed, to include a series of exchanges between the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary (NMS), Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale NMS, and their French Polynesian counterparts.

The Pacific projects will focus on traditional Polynesian culture and management methods, MPA experiences, and World Heritage cooperation.

Over the next year, the new relationship is also expected to lead to projects tied to MPAs in the Caribbean region.