IMMA definitions


a discrete portion of habitat, important to marine mammal species, that has the potential to be delineated and managed for conservation.

‘Important’ (in the context of the IMMA classification):

any environmental condition, biological property, or value of a place, which supports marine mammals, and maintains or improves their conservation status.

Qualifying species:

species that satisfy one or more of the IMMA criteria; including the species that apply to the diversity criterion (D2).

Supporting species:

species that obviously have habitat within the IMMA but that do not satisfy any of the IMMA criteria. Species that have occupied the area historically but no longer occur, vagrants, single sightings or strandings of species that normally occur in habitat outside the IMMA boundary should not be listed as supporting species.

Preliminary Area of Interest (pAoI):

area proposed prior to a regional workshop for consideration by the workshop with the potential to become a cIMMA.

Area of Interest (AoI):

area that had been proposed as a candidate IMMA at a regional workshop but with insufficient information to satisfy the IMMA criteria.  Areas of Interest are included in the online searchable database and displayed on the e-Atlas with a blue colouration. It is possible in the future when more information becomes available, that an AoI will become an IMMA, subject to undergoing consideration at a new workshop and review process.

candidate IMMA (cIMMA):

proposal for an IMMA produced at the end of an IMMA workshop that is sent to the Independent Review Panel for consideration as an IMMA.  A cIMMA that is deemed by reviewers to be needing more information to satisfy the IMMA criteria will remain a cIMMA, included in the online searchable database and displayed on the e-Atlas with a pink colouration. For a cIMMA to become an IMMA, it is sufficient for the point of contact to interact with the IMMA Secretariat to ensure that certain requirements have been satisfied, and the Secretariat can then determine if the cIMMA can become a full IMMA.