Despite being considered one of the planet’s most important areas for marine biodiversity, the Mediterranean (2,500,000km2) is practically in the same state as the rest of the world’s seas and currently only 4% of its area is protected. After analyzing the existing data Oceana has launched Oceana MedNet, the first comprehensive network of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) for the Mediterranean that details specific locations. The proposal includes 100 sites distributed throughout the basin, covering an extension of over 200,000 km2. By adding this area to the existing MPAs, 12% of the Mediterranean would be protected, exceeding the minimum established by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
The proposal includes a wide variety of sites, such as seamounts, banks, canyons, slopes, trenches, ridges, mud volcanoes, gas seeps, carbonate mounts, etc. Although these habitats are less well-known than seagrass beds or coral reefs, they are equally important. The CBD considers that the proposed sites are important enough from a biological and ecological perspective, and that they require effective protection.
The initiative highlights 100 sites that, if protected, would contribute to the protection of 10% of the Mediterranean as established by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity:
- 100 Marine Protected Areas
- 207,100 km2 total (8.2% of the Mediterráneo)
- Largest MPA: 15,200 km2 (Mersa-Matruth Eddy)
- Smallest MPA: 200 km2 (Morrot de Sa Dragonera)
- 50% of the MPAs exceed 1,500 km2
- Average minimum distance between MPAs: 95 km2
Fact Sheet: Oceana MedNet II. (PDF)