2017 - 2020
The MedKeyHabitats II project (2017 - 2020) is the follow-up to a first project, the MedKeyHabitats I, that has been implemented from 2013 to 2016 to enhance knowledge on marine habitats through mapping and characterization activities in 5 future Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The MedKeyHabitats II objective aims to establish mapping inventories/characterization of marine habitats in 14 additional areas and to assess their sensitivity to fishing activities.
As for the Kuriat project and other activities carried out by SPA/RAC, the MedKeyHabitats II project aimed to assist the beneficiary countries to meet their obligations under the Barcelona Convention, particularly with regard to marine biodiversity conservation and the development of a well-connected and effective system of marine protected areas in the Mediterranean.
The MedKeyHabitats II project’s activities included (i) a series of field surveys to characterize and map marine habitats with a focus on seagrass and coralligenous distribution, (ii) the production of sensitivity maps of marine habitats to fishing activities, and (iii) training activities on standard methodologies and prospecting techniques.
Yassine Ramzi Sghaier
Objectives / results
The MedKeyHabitats project produced several maps and data that were provided to the relevant national authorities to be used as a tool for sustainable coastal zone planning and management. The MedKeyHabitats II project’s outputs include :
- Characterization of species and habitats in 14 pilot sites
- Detailed and updated maps of marine habitats produced in 10 pilot sites (MPAs + future MPAs + Special Areas of Conservation)
- Monitoring of seagrass meadows / set up of 12 monitoring systems of Posidonia oceanica meadows in 4 pilot sites
- Monitoring of coralligenous populations / set up of 5 monitoring stations in 3 pilot sites
- Socio-economic study and assessment of the impact of fishing on habitats in 11 pilot sites
- Production of maps of vulnerability to fishing activities and development of zoning proposals and/or fishing activity management measures to reduce the impact on marine habitats in 13 pilot sites
- Development of a national action plan for the conservation of marine vegetation in Cyprus
- Development of a synthesis of current knowledge on Mediterranean coralligenous assemblages
- Development of a synthesis of current knowledge on sea caves in the Mediterranean
- Organization of the regional symposia on key marine habitats and non-native species