Impact Stories Global Ocean Protections

Measuring Global Protections

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Conservation Challenge

The ocean covers two-thirds of our planet, and supplies oxygen to all life on Earth. To help protect it, the UN Global Biodiversity Framework calls on the international community to conserve 30% of land, water, and seas by 2030 to safeguard habitats, species, and maintain ecosystem services.

To uphold global biodiversity commitments and ensure that countries are on track to meet the 30×30 target, standardized metrics are needed to assess area protections. Creating these metrics requires using the same methods to code data on permitted activities, so comparisons are possible.

Our Solution

ProtectedSeas Navigator gathered all area data using the same methods and coded each on a 1-5 scale using the Level of Fishing Protection (LFP) score to assist with comparison and offer initial estimates of progress towards conservation.

The Navigator team calculated that 3.4% of the entire global ocean, 1.2% of the high seas, and 6.9% of national EEZs are presently highly protected in terms of legal protections from fishing.

Global Marine Protections Map

Areas scored 4 to 5 on the LFP scale have significantly greater fishing restrictions and were summed together to assess the size of marine area that is “highly protected.”



Countries and areas can now be compared with each other using a common metric globally

Top Countries for Ocean Protection from Fishing

Top Countries by Percentage Highly Protected from Fishing


Top Countries by Area Highly Protected from Fishing


LFP can assist with completing other protection assessments

Navigator’s LFP can assist other MPA assessment systems by supplying the data they need to complete their assessments. Navigator’s LFP can also offer initial estimates for the Regulations-based Classification System (RBCS) for highly protected areas. See the Marine Policy article links on this page.

Navigator’s LFP score offers important insights into tracking and measuring legal protections and progress towards the 30×30 goal, both regionally and globally with greater visibility into protections.