Co-managed MPA / No-take Zones
The marine resources of the Mediterranean have been exploited for thousands of years and as such today the Mediterranean is in “burn out”. Over the past 50 years, populations of Mediterranean marine mammals have fallen by 41% and around 75% of fish stocks are overfished (FAO/GFCM 2020). More than half (53%) of its sharks are at risk of extinction and the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica, one the important nursery habitat for many species, a carbon sink habitat, and a sea acidification buffer, has decreased by 34%.
Recovery of species population and improvement of marine habitats have been recorded, notably in marine protected areas (MPAs) and in no-take zones (NTZs) that are well managed and enforced.
Out of the more than 1,000 existing Mediterranean MPAs very few have shown an increase of fish biomass and biodiversity with benefits for local communities, plus only 0.04% (815 km2) of the basin is covered by NTZ's.
To make a difference, partners will focus on the creation of new NTZs and deliver a set of solutions to improve the management and governance of existing NTZ and MPAs. Each site will showcase specific approaches and tools to address recurrent issues in terms of governance, design, financing, and enforcement and enable inspiration and potential replication.
In each of the project sites, fishers -together with other key stakeholders- will be empowered through participation. As part of the decision-making process, fishers will develop their management solutions that ensure profitable fisheries for the future and ensure the willingness to maintain their engagement beyond the end of the project.
The project is designed to ensure an impact far into the future. The financial sustainability of the local initiatives will be guaranteed by building financial skills at a local level, testing and implementing financing mechanisms, and attracting new investors. Project results will be scaled-up at a regional level by supporting capacity building, disseminating and exchanging lessons learned, promoting networking in order to amplify the impact and increase the potential of replication by inspiring and involving other MPAs and fishers of the Mediterranean countries and beyond.
Objectives / results
- To rebuild Mediterranean fish biomass and protect key habitats through co-managed No-Take Zones and effective MPAs, replication and scaling-up, financial sustainability, and adequate regulatory frameworks.
- Make a difference in the field by creating new no-take zones and improving the management of MPAs which have the greatest impact potential and can inspire and engage other sites in the Mediterranean.
- Build legacy and scale-up by building the capacity exchanging lessons learned, and promoting networking among other MPA managers and fishers around the Mediterranean, and increasing the financial sustainability of local conservation initiatives.
- Empower future by working with decision-makers to replicate and sustain local solutions and developing an ambitious and effective policy plan to protect the Mediterranean marine biodiversity within the Barcelona Convention.