Developing a list of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems. 40th Session of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - Oceana Europe

Report | May 31, 2016

Developing a list of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems. 40th Session of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean

Recent scientific studies have demonstrated that vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) such as cold water coral reefs, gardens of soft corals, and deep-sea sponge aggregations are found in many areas of the Mediterranean Sea, and are unique. These ecosystems are frequently associated with high levels of biodiversity, and provide habitat for very specific assemblages of species, including juveniles and adults of commercial species such as hake, Norway lobster, and red shrimp. Given their importance and their vulnerability to the impacts of bottom fishing activities, specific management and conservation measures are required for their protection.