Oceana urges protection for ‘30 Mediterranean jewels’

Regional and national entities must work to create a comprehensive network of MPAs that will preserve.

Press Release Date: March 26, 2012

Location: Madrid


Oceana Web | email: webadmin@oceana.org | tel.: 202.000.0000

Oceana this week presented “30 Mediterranean jewels”, a selection of some of the most ecologically valuable places that demand immediate action to be preserved. Currently, the protected areas in the Mediterranean are mostly coastal areas concentrated in the northern part of the sea, leaving many critically important species and habitats in the Mediterranean unprotected. The 30 jewels, chosen by marine scientists, are part of the organisation’s MedNet proposal, which provides a roadmap towards creating a network of 100 Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the Mediterranean.

“The protection of these 30 Mediterranean jewels would be the first step towards an effective protection of this sea, which is currently lacking. The selection of the enclaves considered the geographical equilibrium along the basin, the inclusion of high seas sites and the presence of ecologically interesting species, among other factors”explains Xavier Pastor, Executive Director for Oceana Europe. “Oceana is asking national and regional entities to create marine protected areas and curb biodiversity loss”.


1.-Xauen and Tofiño Banks/Southern Alboran Volcanoes

2.- Alidade Bank and Habibbas Escarpment

3.- Alicante Canyon

4.- Balearic Seamounts

5.- Tortosa Canyon

6.- Gulf of Lion Canyons

7.- Bejaia Canyon

8.- Western Sardinia Canyons

9.- Southern Ligurian Seamounts

10.- Northern Sicilian Seamounts

11.- Adventure Bank/Southern Sicily Seamounts / Urania Bank

12.- Hurd Bank

13.- Jarrafa Trough

14.- Malta Ridge

15.- Northern Adriatic


16.- Bari Canyon

17.- Santa María di Leuca

18.- Northern Ionian Seamount

19.- Southern Ionian Seamounts

20.- Ptolemy Mountains

21.- Glavki and Venus Banks

22.- Columbo Seamount

23.- Southern Aegean Seamount I

24.- Cheffren Mud Volcano

25.- Anaximander and Anaximenes Ridges

26.- Eratosthenes Seamount

27.- Nile Cold Hydrocarbon Seeps

28.- Lebanon Canyons

29.- Latakia Escarpment

30.- Karpas Ridge


Since its February 2011 release, Oceana MedNet has been well received by international organizations and national governments. It would also be a breakthrough towards achieving the 10% marine environment protection goal established by the United Nations´ Biological Diversity Convention.

According to Pilar Marín, marine scientist at Oceana, “with Oceana MedNet, we are giving national and regional authorities a tool for strategic planning in the Mediterranean region. In this note, we ask all of them to join efforts and integrate Mediterranean Sea conservation policies.”

Learn more: Oceana MedNet