Download2 The North-East Atlantic

Many challenges but common pressures

Although the vast waters of the OSPAR area and its diverse ecosystems present many challenges for management and environmental protection, there are many commonalities within each of the Regions, including common oceanic and open sea characteristics that are strongly influenced by the dynamics of the North Atlantic Current. The degree of pressure from the different human activities varies between and within Regions. The much greater concentrations of human population in catchments draining into Region II produce a significantly different level of pressure to that affecting Region V, where the only human populations are associated with the Azores archipelago. Nevertheless, important pressures, such as fishing and climate change, are of concern in all Regions. Other common types of pressure also exist, particularly from intensive (and sometimes conflicting) uses of the coastal zone. OSPAR provides a common framework for managing the impact of these pressures on the North-East Atlantic.