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June 16, 2016

Management of Bioinvasions in the Mediterranean Sea: The Way Forward


© OCEANA Carlos Minguell
Inmersión nº 21. Invasive algae. Alga invasora *** Local Caption *** Detail of coarse seagrape (Caulerpa racemosa) and red sponge behind. Patroklou island, Greece. Marviva Med Mediterranean Expedition. August 2008. Detalle de hojas de (Caulerpa racemosa) y esponja roja detrás. Isla Patroklou, Grecia. Expedición por el Mediterráneo del Marviva Med. Agosto 2008.


The number of recorded non indigenous species (NIS) in the Mediterranean Sea is far higher than in other European Seas; their number more than doubled between 1970 and 2015, with the greatest increases recorded in the 1990s and the 2000s.
Though States are responsible for ensuring that activities within their jurisdiction do not damage the environment of other States, effective implementation of the IAS regulation (EC 2014) concerning marine NIS in the Mediterranean Sea depends on policy coordination with the Regional Sea Convention (Barcelona Convention).

At the Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean and its Protocols (Greece, February 2016) the parties adopted the ‘Updated Action Plan concerning Species Introductions and Invasive Species in the Mediterranean Sea’. This plan focuses on the collection of data and the further development of the Marine Mediterranean Invasive Alien Species Database. The plan lacks management actions to prevent NIS introduction, control their spread, and mitigate the damage they cause to the marine ecosystem.
The EuroMarine workshop ‘Management of Bioinvasions in the Mediterranean Sea – the Way Forward’ aimed to discuss a general framework of what a comprehensive action plan for managing NIS under the unique conditions of the Mediterranean Sea should contain.

In the plenary session the participants formulated and discussed the following ‘Ischia Declaration’.

Further works enlarging on the theme and on lost opportunities in this area are planned.


Maria Cristina Gambi, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Villa Comunale, 80121 Napoli, Italy.

Bella Galil, National Institute of Oceanography, Tel Shikmona, 31080 Haifa, Israel.