International cooperation

Some cetacean populations are shared by several countries, such as humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), which frequent the waters of the Sanctuary and the entire Caribbean from December to May, and are present in the northwest and northeast Atlantic from about June to November.

At the Caribbean scale, cetaceans do not know borders and, as migratory or resident species, they also frequent the waters of our international neighbors. The achievement of the Agoa Sanctuary's marine mammal conservation objectives is therefore largely based on international cooperation.

To this end, the Sanctuary is developing working relationships with other marine protected areas to: 

  • improve the protection and management of migratory species that frequent several sites depending on the time of year,
  • develop and share technical capacities through exchanges with the teams working in these marine protected areas sharing the same issues.

In this regard, twinning arrangements have been set up in the past with the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary in 2011, the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park in 2015, and 2017 the Yarari Sanctuary and Samana Bay and Silver Bank Sanctuary.

A sister sanctuary, the Pelagos Sanctuary

The Pelagos Sanctuary came into being thanks to the signature of an agreement between France, Italy and the Principality of Monaco on November 25, 1999, which came into force on February 21, 2002. Its perimeter extends over a maritime area of 87,500 km2managed by the governments of the three countries. Since November 17, 2001, the Pelagos Sanctuary has been included in the list of Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI). It is the largest marine protected area (MPA) in the Mediterranean, and the only international MPA for the protection of marine mammals.

With a common goal of protecting marine mammals, the Agoa Sanctuary in the Caribbean and the Pelagos Sanctuary in the Mediterranean could only work hand in hand. Thus, on April 13, 2018, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the two sanctuaries during Monaco Ocean Week. The objective is to share best practices, promote exchanges and implement joint actions. The two sanctuaries regularly exchange information with each other, as there are many issues common to both sanctuaries.