High-Level Event at Nausicaa Aimed at Boosting Public Awareness of ABNJ

The High-Level Event on Common Oceans–Why Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction Are Essential for People and Planet that took place on June 27, 2018 at the Nausicaá French National Sea Center in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France sought to boost the general public’s understanding of areas beyond national jurisdiction. The event, which drew 85 participants and speakers, showcased discussion of the complex issues related to our common oceans – areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), as well as possible solutions.

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This high level event aimed to build and improve cross-sectoral multi-stakeholder dialogue, engage high-level decision-makers, and contribute to information sharing and public awareness of ABNJ issues. Sessions highlighted the values and issues surrounding ABNJ and the Common Oceans Program experiences. Participants discussed solutions to challenges in ABNJ. The event also featured a global media workshop with media representatives and ABNJ experts where  a media guide to ABNJ was launched. The High Level Event both exposed and spurred deliberations on the major ABNJ issues and examined and drew lessons from existing experiences related to ABNJ, especially highlighting the efforts of the Common Oceans Program in achieving sustainable fisheries management and biodiversity conservation in the ABNJ.


The outstanding venue of the new Nausicaá high seas exhibit provided heightened inspiration and motivation for the achievement of wise stewardship of the marine ABNJ. Nausicaáa, a major tourist attraction located in the northern French city of Boulogne-sur-Mer, has unveiled the world’s first-ever large-scale high-seas exhibit, Voyage on the High Seas, on 19 May 2018. With its 9-meter deep tank and 60,000 marine creatures, the Exhibit allows the general public to explore and learn about this vast ocean ecosystem. The Exhibit (35,000 square meters and built at the cost of 75 million Euros from local bodies in the North of France and the European Commission) is intended to rally the public around efforts to improve the way in which oceans and their resources are managed, with emphasis on the areas beyond national jurisdiction.

The event was part of planned public outreach activities and exhibits through the Common Oceans ABNJ Program’s Project on Strengthening Global Capacity to Effectively Manage ABNJ, in close collaboration with fellow Common Oceans ABNJ Projects, and partners FAO, Global Ocean Forum, Nausicaá and the World Ocean Network.


Summary of the event: Link to Summary when available

ABNJ Media Guide: Link to media guide when available

FAO Common Oceans ABNJ Newsletter article: International conference on common oceans at world’s first high seas aquarium, 24 July 2018

For further information about this event, please contact:

  • Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, Common Oceans Capacity Project Manager and President of the Global Ocean Forum
  • Ms. Tina Farmer, Lead Technical Officer of the Common Oceans Capacity Project, Communication Adviser, Office of the Deputy Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations




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