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April 1, 2015

Six percent in six years


Earlier this week, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Affairs hosted an important screening: the wrap-up documentary of the LIFE+ INDEMARES project. LIFE+ INDEMARES is a turning point in marine conservation in Spain, since it has allowed the country to propose ten new Sites of Community Importance (SCI), increasing the marine protected surface from 1% to 6%.

The field work took place between 2009 and 2013 and was co-financed by the European Commission. Led by Fundación Biodiversidad, ten partners were responsible for the marine research, and Oceana is proud to be one of them. In fact, we gathered the first ever images of the Chella Bank, a seamount south off the Spanish coast, home to great biodiversity.

But this is not the end of the story. The new proposed SCIs need management plans and of course there are many other areas within European Union marine environments that should also be researched and protected. The 2020 deadline for protecting 10% of ocean surface is looming – there is no time to lose!