Marine reserves are essential for the health of the Mediterranean. Research shows that preventing fishing in vulnerable areas has transformative results.
Reserves provide a refuge for marine biodiversity. They also create beneficial ‘spillover’, when populations of fish, larvae and other organisms expand from the protected area into surrounding zones, where they can also help the recovery of structuring species.
Marine reserves are an important tool to boost the recovery of marine ecosystems and fish stocks in the Mediterranean.
In 2017, thanks to MedReAct and the Adriatic Recovery Project, the Adriatic’s first Fisheries Restricted Area (FRA) was established.
In less than two years, the Jabuka/Pomo Pit FRA saw an extraordinary increase in scampi and hake biomass, and the return of vulnerable species like sharks to the area.
Ever more depleted, the Mediterranean urgently needs new recovery measures.
MedReAct is calling on the General Fisheries Commission of the Mediterranean to establish new Fisheries Restricted Areas in the Strait of Otranto (Adriatic), the Mammellone area (Strait of Sicily), the Gulf of Lion, and off the Ebro Delta (western Mediterranean).
The narrow stretch of sea that separates the Adriatic from the Ionian influences the dynamics of water circulation and water exchange within the entire Mediterranean basin. This area hosts important nursery and spawning grounds for red and pink shrimp, hake and blackmouth catsharks, and is one of the Mediterranean’s last hotspot for the rare bamboo coral.
Located off the coast of the island of Lampedusa, the Mammellone area hosts essential habitats for some of the most overexploited species of fish, as well as for large Posidonia meadows. Closed to Italian fisheries since 1979, the Mammellone continues to be subject to illegal fishing, plundering its resources.
This area, important for the growth and reproduction of commercial fish populations, hosts vulnerable species such as bamboo coral and sea pens. The establishment of a FRA off the Ebro Delta would help the recovery of fish stocks, such as hake, in an area where overfishing rates are among the highest in the Mediterranean.
The central area of the Gulf of Lion is one of the most productive and biodiverse areas in the western Mediterranean. It’s a key area for the habitats of several commercial fish species, with an intricate network of underwater canyons and important benthic communities of gorgonians, sponges and deep-sea corals. It has recently been identified as one of the priority areas for conservation in the Mediterranean.
Togheter, we can protect
FULL PROTECTION OF THE MEDITERRANEAN’S DEEP-SEA ECOSYSTEMS FROM BOTTOM TRAWLING.