The Iroise Marine Natural Park, le Parc naturel marin d’Iroise, was created in 2007 off the coast of Finistère between the islands Ushant, Molène and Sein and the coasts of Crozon headland and Douarnenez. The instrument of Marine Natural Park was created only recently with the law of April 2006, as many people considered that the classic conservation approach based on legal incentives and mostly on the State’s involvement weren’t enough efficient.
The Iroise Marine Natural Park is a remarkable area boasting outstanding natural resources and playing host to traditional fishing activities. The cultural heritage is extremely varied and marked by majestic offshore lighthouses which make seafarers dream. And the Iroise contains surprising biodiversity consisting of dozens of species of algae, marine mammals, birds and other less well-known or simply more discreet species. In addition to being listed as a marine nature park, it is a marine protected area under the Oslo-Paris convention (OSPAR) and a large part of its perimeter is listed under the European Habitats and Birds directives (Network 2000 directives) and as a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
The creation of the Iroise Marine Nature Park was a long process with all the local stakeholders, but it is today the pride of the local people living both on the Finistère coast and inland.
The Iroise Marine Nature Park is not a mere technocratic framework: it relies on strong, long-term involvement of elected representatives in the Iroise, Government departments, sea professionals, associations, regular and occasional users and even simple observers, all of whom contribute to its operation. The management council of the Iroise Marine Nature Park is responsible for governance of the area, in connection with Government departments. Its members are thus in a position to carry out marine environment development and conservation actions as part of an integrated approach since both the challenges and solutions are considered jointly for better understanding and greater efficiency. All the members of the management council play a part in the decision process so as to continue protecting and developing a maritime territory that they now manage.
The Chairman of the management council is Pierre Maille.
Good management will be the goal of the council at all times and must consistently guide their action. The management plan also sets out the management actions and measures the management council plan to take to achieve these objectives.
The Marine Nature Park of Iroise in action