Oceana warns France, Spain, Greece and Italy of consequences for failing to meet Habitats Directive requirements

Only 15 days remain before the deadline for designating special areas of conservation (SACs) in the Mediterranean region is reached.

Press Release Date: September 6, 2012

Location: Madrid


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

Oceana has warned national authorities in Spain, France, Greece and Italy of their obligation to designate SACs before the deadline set by the Habitats directive, which is now a mere 15 days away.  The international marine conservation organization has received no response to written requests for information about where these states stand in the designation process. If they do not meet these requirements, these countries face the risk of sanctions.

“European experts agree there is a clear lack of marine protected areas in the Mediterranean,” states Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana Europe. “It is inexplicable that despite having had six years to meet this deadline, Member States have failed to provide adequate management measures to protect critical species and habitats in the Mediterannean.”

According to information assessed by Oceana and obtained from the European Environmental Agency, approximately 700 marine areas, covering nearly 18.000km2 of the Mediterranean Sea, lack the management plans required by the Directive to be designated as SACs. These areas were chosen to be protected because they boast the presence important habitats and species including reefs, posidonia beds, sandbars, loggerhead turtles, monk seals and bottlenose dolphins.

Learn more: Natura 2000 Network