The thirdmeeting of the Working Group on Marine Protected Areas(WGMPA)2took place from 18to 21February 2019at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) headquarters, Rome, Italy. As agreed by the forty-secondsession of the Commission(FAO headquarters, Italy, October 2018), the meeting addressed the following main tasks: i) review new and pending proposals for the establishment of GFCMfisheries restricted areas (FRAs); ii) assess the effectivenessof existing FRAs against their objectives and propose suitable scientific monitoring plans; and iii) advance on the implementation of Resolution GFCM/41/2017/5 on a network of essential fish habitatsin the GFCM area of application. The meeting reviewedpending proposals for FRAs, in particular the proposal for a FRAin the Otranto channel (GSA 18), as well as a new proposal fora FRA in the Ligurian Sea (GSA 9).The WGMPA also discussed suitable ways to monitor the FRAs from ascientific point of view and identified the most relevant EFH for priority species.Finally, the meeting reiterated the importance ofcreatinga scientific database collecting evidence on the existence of VME indicators and proposed a new template (based on the already existing VME template of theInternational Council for the Exploration of the Sea [ICES])to populate the database with existing and new relevant scientific information. 1Suggested citation: GFCM, 2019. Report of the third meeting of the Working Group on Marine Protected Areas (WGMPA), FAO HQ, Italy, 18–21 February 2019.2This meeting was supported by the European Union under grant agreement no SI2.771026.