French marine protected areas agency


The French marine protected areas agency, a public administrative establishment, is placed under the governance of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. Its head office is in Brest (Finistère). It has branches in mainland France and overseas, outreach teams linked to marine natural parks and park projects. Its government is exercised by an executive board on which other deliberating authorities are dependent (the Natural Marine Park management advisory councils and board) and a consultative instance (the Scientific Council).

The main assignments of the French marine protected areas agency are:

  1. Supporting public policies for the creation and management of marine protected areas in the entirety of French maritime waters.
  2. Running the MPA network.
  3. Technical and financial support of natural marine parks.
  4. Reinforcing French potential in international negotiations concerning the sea.

Key scientific / technical personnel

  • Benjamin Guichard (male) is policy officer for marine natural heritage in the Scientific knowledge & information department at AAMP headquarters in Brest, since 2012. Doctor in Veterinary Medicine, he specialised in fish biology and previously worked in the French agency for food, environmental and occupational health & safety (ANSES) and the French institute for exploitation of the sea (IFREMER). At the AAMP he deals with projects on benthic habitats mapping, marine citizen sciences and MSFD’s surveillance program for marine mammals and turtles.
  • Susan Gallon (female, main contact) is the project officer for the EO4wildlife project within the AAMP headquarters in Brest since August 2016. Doctor in marine ecology from the University of St Andrews (Sea Mammal Research Unit, UK), she is specialized in the behavioural ecology and ecophysiology of marine mammals. She previously worked as a project leader and coordinator for a French NGO studying whales and cetaceans in the French Mediterranean Sea. She also spent extended period of time abroad studying southern elephant seals at the Institute of Marine Antarctic Studies (IMAS, Hobart, Tasmania), at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) and more recently at the University of Glasgow (UK) in collaboration with the National History Museum in Paris.