Report | July 23, 2019

Using “big data” to evaluate MPA effectiveness – the case of reefs in EU

The study looked into the fishing activity across marine Nature 2000 sites having a focus on variety of protected features protected by the Habitats Directive. Significant incompatible fishing activity was observed inside Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) across all of the European Union (EU), particularly within reef and sandbank habitats types (codes 1170 and 1110).
This poster summarizes the methods used and the main results for reefs. This study breaks new ground by applying a comprehensive data-driven approach, extracting figures that offer insight into an estimate of the actual conservation status of Natura 2000 as a whole through the analysis of bottom-fishing activities. The results demonstrate that substantive conclusions may be reached using algorithmic methods, in such a way as to be useful for lawmakers in deciding how to approach marine protection.

Learn more: Fishing intensity in the Mediterranean Natura 2000: How monitoring can support management & conservation