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Union for the Mediterranean Stakeholders’ Conference: “Towards a Roadmap for Blue Investment and Jobs in the Mediterranean’ April 22, 2015

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Source: DG MARE

Location: Athens, Greece
Date: 27/05/2015

The Mediterranean region can tap further the potential of the blue economy. It can provide jobs and growth through the sustainable development of key strategic maritime sectors in this important sea basin. This can be promoted by increased clustering and networking of education and training organisations, pairing research and innovation capacity, matching supply/demand of skilled people and more access to finance. These are some of the cooperation and coordination challenges that need to be tackled. An Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Blue Economy to be held in autumn 2015 would bring about the political mandate and provide guidance for the further development of blue economy and promotion of blue jobs in the Mediterranean region.

In preparation for the upcoming Ministerial Conference, stakeholders of the Union for the Mediterranean will hold an event “Towards a Roadmap for Blue Investment and Jobs in the Mediterranean’‘ on 27 May 2015 in Athens.  The meeting will provide the opportunity to collect input from all actors in the region, including financial institutions, academia, business associations, civil society and organisations and international agencies about the challenges that need to be addressed and the emerging opportunities for investment and jobs creation in the blue economy of the Mediterranean basin.

Seagrass worth €190 million per year to Mediterranean fishing April 16, 2015

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Source: Science for Envirnment Policy

Seagrass meadows are worth around €78 million every year to commercial fishing in the Mediterranean, a new study estimates. Their annual value to recreational fishing is even bigger, at an estimated €112 million. The researchers say that marine policies should consider the socioeconomic effects of the loss of seagrass, which provides habitat for many fishery species.

Beds of seagrass play a fundamental role in supporting populations of marine species that are caught by commercial and recreational fishers. As well as providing habitat, they act as nursery areas for juveniles, feeding grounds and refuge from predators. These meadows are protected under the EU’s Habitats Directive1 within designated areas, and EC Regulation 1967/20062 bans the use of mobile fishing gear over seagrass beds. Despite this protection, seagrass is in decline in the Mediterranean. The main seagrass species in this sea is Posidonia oceanica.

Placing an economic value on ecosystem services provided by seagrass can support arguments for their conservation. It can also help inform decisions on the costs and benefits of different marine development options. Therefore, this study developed a way of valuing the contribution of seagrass to Mediterranean fishing, both commercial and recreational. The research was conducted under the EU KNOWSEAS project3.

The researchers used an index, the ‘Seagrass Residency Index’, which gives different fishery species a score based on how much time they spend in seagrass meadows at different stages of their life, compared with other habitats. The score was then combined with information on the economic value of seafood caught by commercial fisheries to calculate the value of seagrass to this industry. For recreational fishing, the scores were combined with figures on how much is spent each year by anglers, for example, on equipment and transport, i.e. recreational fishing’s contribution to the wider economy.

The results indicate that seagrass contributed between €58.3million and €91.5 million per year to commercial fishing in the Mediterranean, between 2006 and 2008 (the figure varied by year, depending on how much fish was landed and the price of the fish at the time). The average annual figure over the three years was €77.7 million, which was approximately 4% of the value of all seafood caught (in the range of €1.9 billion).

Certain species would have a significant economic impact for commercial fishing if seagrass were to further decline. These include cuttlefish (Sepiidae, Sepiolidae), scorpion fish (Scorpaenidae) and octopus (Octopodidae).

Approximately 4.5%, or €112.6 million, of annual angling expenditure (totalling around €2.5 billion) could be attributed to seagrass meadows, the researchers estimate. As well as cuttlefish and scorpion fish, declines in seabass (Dicentrarchus spp.) would have a particularly damaging economic effect, in terms of recreational fishing’s expenditure, if seagrass were to further deteriorate.

The researchers say that these figures should be treated conservatively, owing to uncertainties in their data. For example, they did not account for specific effects of different species of seagrass or locations. Nonetheless, they say they have demonstrated that there is a clear cost associated with seagrass decline.

The EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive4 requires the cost of marine degradation to be determined. The full economic value of seagrass beds could be determined if other ecosystem services were also accounted for, such as erosion protection. The study recommends aligning fisheries and seagrass management. In addition, it says that policymakers should take account of the socioeconomic implications of seagrass decline for both recreational and commercial fisheries.

1. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/habitatsdirective/index_en.htm

2. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2006:409:0011:0085:EN:PDF

3. KNOWSEAS (Knowledge-based Sustainable Management for Europe’s Seas) was supported by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme. See: http://www.knowseas.com


Source: Jackson, E.L., Rees, S.E., Wilding, C. & Attrill, M.J. (2015). Use of a seagrass residency index to apportion commercial fishery landing values and recreation fisheries expenditure to seagrass habitat service. Conservation Biology DOI:10.1111/cobi.12436.

Contact: emma.jackson@cqu.edu.au

Guía interpretativa del Inventario Español de Hábitats Marinos April 15, 2015

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Fuente: Red Iberoamericana de Reservas Marinas

La base para avanzar en la protección de nuestros mares es conocer en profundidad cuales son sus riquezas y dónde podemos encontrarlas. La biodiversidad marina española destaca por su gran valor, y para conocer éste es necesario que todos los científicos cuenten con un lenguaje común para designarla y evaluarla. Gracias a los trabajos desarrollados para la construcción del Inventario Español del Patrimonio Natural y de la Biodiversidad (IEPNB) se ha conseguido consensuar un lenguaje común para todos aquellos que trabajan por y para la conservación y gestión de nuestros mares: la Lista Patrón de Hábitats Marinos

La Ley 42/2007, del Patrimonio Natural y de la Biodiversidad, contempla la elaboración del Inventario Español del Patrimonio Natural y de la Biodiversidad (IEPNB), como una herramienta para el conocimiento de la distribución, abundancia, estado de conservación y utilización de todos los elementos, terrestres y marinos, integrantes del patrimonio natural, con especial atención a los que precisan medidas específicas de conservación o que hayan sido declarados de interés comunitario.

Una de las partes que conforman ese IEPNB es el Inventario Español de Hábitats y Especies Marinos (IEHEM), que consta a su vez de dos componentes: hábitats y especies. En esta ocasión vamos a tratar el componente de hábitats marinos: el Inventario Español de Hábitats Marinos (IEHM).

Como resultado de los trabajos desarrollados por el MAGRAMA para dar respuesta a la Ley 42/2007, en el año 2013 fueron aprobados los dos primeros elementos del IEHM: por un lado, la Lista Patrón de los tipos de hábitats marinos presentes en España, y por otro, su clasificación jerárquica.

La aprobación de estos listados fue posible gracias al esfuerzo realizado por un Grupo de Trabajo conformado por una amplia selección de científicos de gran renombre de nuestro país en cuanto al conocimiento de nuestros fondos marinos, expertos en hábitats marinos por unidades biogeográficas distintas: Lusitana, Mauritana y Mediterránea. Gracias a sucesivas reuniones y al desarrollo de tareas en equipo, este grupo de científicos y expertos han conseguido consensuar una lista de hábitats que contiene todos los tipos de hábitats marinos presentes en las aguas marinas españolas, tanto en fondos costeros como en las profundidades y en la columna de agua.

Para hacer llegar, de forma divulgativa, a todos los públicos este gran avance para continuar con el conocimiento de los hábitats marinos españoles, el MAGRAMA ha editado la publicación “Guía interpretativa del Inventario Español de Hábitats Marinos”. Puedes descargártela pinchando aquí.

Dunes & Estuaries 2015 – Call for Abstracts April 7, 2015

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Originally posted on Coastal & MarinE-News:

Bruges 16-18 September

This international conference will cover the following topics:

  • Ecosystem services of estuary and coastal areas: Estuary and coastal areas deliver certain ecosystem services: they function as seawall and nursery for fish and crustaceans, they capture carbon (reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere). How can we maximally preserve and boost these services?
  • EU-Life-projects with respect to estuary and coastal areas: In several coastal areas and estuaries that are part of the NATURA 2000 network, LIFE projects are being developed or have been carried out. The conference will also offer a forum for LIFE project staff to exchange their views and experiences.

Abstract submission deadline is 30 April 2015!

More information

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Adriatic Sea Forum 2015 – cruise, ferry, sail & yacht April 7, 2015

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Dubrovnik, 23rd-24th April 2015

We are pleased to inform you that the second edition of Adriatic Sea Forum – cruise, ferry, sail and yacht will be held in Dubrovnik on April 23rd and 24th.
Adriatic Sea Forum is an international event dedicated to maritime tourism in the Adriatic Sea.

Meetings, discussions, opportunities for business networking and in-depth analysis are the focus of the two-day event hosted this year in Dubrovnik
(first edition was in Trieste-Italy as it is an itinerant forum that aims to involve all the Adriatic destinations).

The international event involves all the countries faced onto the Adriatic Sea, allowing them to be updated about travel and tourism industry in the considered area,
as well as to create new business opportunities and to meet important stakeholders.

More information

The MARELITT Toolkits are online! March 30, 2015

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EUCC Coastal & Marine Union (EUCC) and EUCC Mediterranean Centre, both partners of the MARELITT project, are happy to announce that the Toolkit for marine litter retention projects and the Toolkit for derelict fishing gear retrieval projects are now online. 

MARELITT is an EU-funded project led by Milieu and aimed at identifying and disseminating good practices for the removal of litter and derelict fishing gear from the sea. During 2013 and 2014, the MARELITT team assessed marine litter retention by professional fishermen (sometimes referred to as ’fishing for litter’), and derelict fishing gear retrieval projects in Europe. Following the assessment, the MARELITT team supported five pilot projects in the four European regional seas in developing their project plan. Out of this work, a series of good practices was identified and compiled in the Toolkits.

The Toolkits are for anyone who wants to set up a project and learn from the experience of previous initiatives. They do not provide a single recipe for setting up litter or gear removal projects but provide advice on how to overcome problems that organisations often face when setting up this type of projects. The Toolkits broadly follow the different steps of a project and will support project managers in planning, budget, involvement of participants, removal techniques and management on the ground, monitoring and evaluation, and seeking funding.

The Toolkits are available online and in printable versions. A number of tools are also downloadable on the website and can be tailored by project managers. Please feel free to share the Toolkits with your colleagues and networks.

We hope you will enjoy the reading!

The International Sea Turtle Symposium March 18, 2015

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Around 34 years ago, a handful of young scientists whose love of marine turtles was equalled only by their specialist knowledge of them, organised the first American workshop in Waverly, Georgia, dedicated to “the protection and study of sea turtles”: About 70 people took part.

The initiative proved such a success that it became established, and since then has been organised on an annual basis, hosted by a different country and on a different continent each time – but always one that enjoys a relationship with marine turtles. Gradually the number of delegates annually has reached 1,000 and attendance figures seem still to be rising!

In 2002 the workshop morphed into an Association and was renamed the International Sea Turtle Symposium (ISTS). Its aim is to present and share the most recent research findings, studies, protection initiatives, environmental education programmes, and new techniques carried out or devised by scientific researchers, NGOs, students, educators and others.

Each Symposium now features two auctions that are organised by teams of many volunteers. All the items offered for sale are donated by the delegates themselves and almost all include a turtle – often portrayed in a humorous way. The proceeds, which can amount to several thousand dollars, are used to fund the attendance of students at the following Symposium, giving young people an opportunity of presenting their work and competing for prizes. On the final evening there is a party for all ages that usually carries on into the small hours!

Another feature of the Symposium is the “vendor’s tables” at which NGOs, craftspeople, publishers, manufacturers of technical equipment (like satellite tracking devices) and more, present their wares – all turtle-related, of course. MEDASSET usually attends the ISTS every 2-3 years. The associated costs, (fees, travel, accommodation, preparation, etc.), make it effectively impossible for us to take part more frequently. Last April we travelled to New Orleans for the 34th Annual Symposium – a journey of 16 hours – and yet we felt it had been worth the effort as the team returned brimming with new ideas and with renewed commitment, enthusiasm and energy… and an even greater passion for the work it does.

In 2015 the 35th International Sea Turtle Symposium will take place between the 19th and 24th of April in Turkey, at Dalaman. MEDASSET will be presenting the special children’s activity “You see the Difference a turtle does not” , a poster on “New Observations of Sea Turtle Trade in Alexandria, Egypt” and running a workshop on Novel technologies for environmental campaigning. In addition, our Trustee Anna Stamatiou, is chairing Video Night, coordinating a Beauty Pageant during the Live Auction and Vice President of MEDASSET Greece, Professor John Pantis, is co-chairing the Poster Session. For more information visit http://seaturtlesociety.com/symposium.html

EUCC-France International Conference Biarritz 2015 March 16, 2015

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Originally posted on Coastal & MarinE-News:

The 21st conference of the parties (COP 21) will be held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015.

The impacts on coastal areas expected by scientists lead to critical questions that directly concern EUCC-France.

In this way, the international conference planned in Biarritz the 22nd and 23rd of June 2015 will talk about:

European coasts and climate change: Biodiversity response and new management strategies in coastal environment

In 2015, the head office of EUCC-France and the new European center EUCC Atlantic will be settled in Biarritz in association with the Centre de la Mer de Biarritz.

We organize some plenary sessions the 22 in the morning, followed by two field workshops on Biarritz coast. Debates will be held on 23 in the morning.

This conference is supported by the European Commission, the Ministère de l’Ecologie, du Développement Durable et de l’Energie,  the Région Aquitaine, the Département…

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Share your vision for the future of European nature! February 20, 2015

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Originally posted on Coastal & MarinE-News:

The Nature Outlook on the future of nature in Europe provides alternative perspectives for 2050 on the desired state of nature and actions for civil society, companies and government from local to EU level to achieve the desired state. The Nature Outlook will be input to an informal Ministers Conference, organised under the Dutch Presidency of the EU Council in the first half of 2016, and deliver innovative insights for EU nature and biodiversity policies. It can also be used in strategic discussions on adjacent policies, such as the Common Agricultural Policy. The study is being carried out by PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, an independent research institute in nature, environment and spatial planning.

Online consultation

In December 2014, PBL conducted a dialogue to define the perspectives for the Nature Outlook.More than 30 people participated in the dialogue, representing umbrella organisations in Europe in various sectors, including nature conservation…

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ADRIPLAN STAKEHOLDER WORKSHOP. A Marine Spatial Planning exercise in the North Adriatic Sea February 9, 2015

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4th March 2015, Piran/Strunjan, Slovenia
Aim of the Workshop
According to the new Directive
“Establishing a Framework for Maritime
Spatial Planning – MSP”, adopted in July
2015, EU coastal Member States are
requested to implement maritime spatial
plans by 31 March 2021.
The pilot project ADRIPLAN, Adriatic and
Ionian maritime spatial planning, funded
by the European Commission (DG MARE),
aims to deliver a common approach to
cross-border MSP in the Adriatic-Ionian
Region, zooming into two focus areas, one
in the Northern Adriatic and the other in
Southern Adriatic – Northern Ionian.
The workshop has the main objective of
performing a real “planning exercise”, in
which the participants will build a
“possible” maritime spatial plan in the
Northern Adriatic Sea. Stakeholders with
knowledge and expertise in different
maritime sectors will identify the possible
planning options and elaborate a spatial
allocation (zoning) draft in a proposed
area. Taking into consideration the
peculiarities of the area, as well as the
strategic needs and objectives emerged
from the ADRIPLAN Initial Assessment
and the previous stakeholders
consultations, three themes have been
selected for playing a pivotal role in the
planning exercise:
• Energy, including (e.g.) LNG terminals,
Hydrocarbon investigation and
exploitation, power cables and
• Maritime transport, including
maritime transport activities related to
• Ports development, with a focus on
the enhancement of intermodality.
Around each pivotal themes, ALL the other
sectoral themes will be considered, in
order to compose a comprehensive and
coherent plan for ALL marine and
maritime activities, including TOURISM,
which represent an economic priority in all
the Adriatic Ionian Region. Specific issues
will be tackled during the workshop, taking
into account their cross-border relevance,
the local problems, the conflicts between
different uses of other sectors/activities
and the threats to the environment. The
workshop will be structured in an
interactive way with presentations and
discussion rounds.
Further information about the programme
of the workshop will be uploaded in the
web site http://www.adriplan.eu .


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