About Navigator

Explore in-place marine protections for 220 countries and territories.

What is it?

The most comprehensive database of marine life protections and their boundaries available. Navigator is a free, interactive map of regulatory information for marine protected areas (MPAs) and marine managed areas.

explore navigator

Navigator offers not just a guide to the location of MPAs but also includes the actual regulations for marine protection. Management measures are summarized for layperson use so that fishers and boaters on the water can be aware of rules and regulations where they are located. Additionally, Navigator codes over 20 fishing gears and human activities and states whether these are prohibited, restricted, allowed, or unknown, and lists focal species where identified.

Navigator USA 30x30 Data Sheet (PDF)

Navigator Europe 30x30 Data Sheet (PDF)

The data can be analyzed to assist the international ocean conservation community on the state and coverage of marine protection, including:

Analysis of legal protections relative to species, habitats, and other factors to identify potential gaps and inform new protections

When combined with vessel monitoring tools, the data can indicate where illegal fishing may be occurring in real-time

An indicator of progress towards 30 percent ocean protection by 2030

Our Methodology

20,000+ MPAs and other managed areas

ProtectedSeas uses a standardized process to collect, synthesize, and map MPAs and other MMAs.

How Navigator assesses Level of Protection

ProtectedSeas assigns a Level of Fishing Protection (LFP) score to each area based on an analysis of restrictions on marine life extraction, coded on a 1-5 scale.

What types of Fishing and
Activities Does Navigator

For each area, data from legal texts and management plans are reviewed, summarized, and used to inform restriction-related attributes. Review is focused on marine-related activities, which also informs the restriction status, …


How is this data updated?
How is this data updated?
  • Boundaries are approximate. Because GIS projection and topology functions can change or generalize coordinates, the spatial boundaries depicted are considered to be approximate representations and are not an official record for the exact regulated area boundaries.
  • Not intended for enforcement purposes. Navigator is a guide and for informational purposes only, as site boundaries and restrictions may not be up-to-date.
  • Regulations are summarized. The information on restricted activities is a distilled summary and does not represent the complete official regulations as cited in the legislative code. Users must refer to the official legislative code (link provided) for the complete official description of regulations and restrictions.
  • Multiple restrictions may apply at once. Areas and their related restrictions are not listed in a hierarchical order based on level of restrictions. In areas where there are discrepancies among regulations across varying jurisdictions, it should be assumed that the most restrictive regulations apply.
  • Only marine (saltwater/coastal) areas are included. Boundaries and regulations for Inland managed areas are not included in Navigator.
  • Conservation Focus. Areas managed for extraction of natural living resources like fishing and take are the focus of Navigator. Military closures, vessel traffic areas and areas managed mainly for recreational and industrial uses may not be included unless they also manage extraction in some form.
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    Our Partners

    To support ocean conservation globally, we work with universities, marine conservation, and governmental organizations in the US and abroad to drive innovation, awareness and support for information solutions for marine conservation and protection. Because if you don’t have the information you need, how can you support the oceans upon which all life depends?

    Work with us

    Please contact us if have questions about our work, or would you like to inquire about partnering with us in support of the oceans.