Building a strategy for marine invasive species in MPAs.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 11:43 — pierrevignes


Moderator: Mar Otero (IUCN Med)

Speakers: Emma Cebrian (University of Girona), Atef Ouerghi (RAC/SPA)



Alien invasive species (IAS) are considered one of the main causes of biodiversity loss in the Mediterranean Sea. They represent a growing problem due to their rate of introductions and the unexpected and harmful impacts that they have on the environment, economy and human health.

Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean don’t escape of this general trend and most of them have been affected by the introduction of alien invasive species for a longtime, threatening marine biodiversity. Many MPAs in the Mediterranean are located in proximity to major ports, have aquaculture farms in or near-by, or are frequently used by small recreational or fishing boats as well as tourists.

Thus, MPAs across the MedPAN Network face common challenges, among them, the lack of awareness and understanding of the impacts of invasive species, the scarcity of information on best practices for management as well as the insufficient baseline information, guidelines and trained local staff to identify and gather knowledge on species introductions and impacts.

Furthermore, most of MPAs personnel feel that the problem is too large and nothing can be done with the limited funds available, if exist, to develop actions. Thus, alien species might be overlooked or pass unnoticed until there are well established into the local ecosystem and eradication prompt to be difficult, costly or impossible.

The perspective of the orientation strategy for the MedPAN towards invasive species to be presented during this event, is part of a project funded by the European Commission (MedPan North Project) and aims to provide a context for local MPAs and the MedPAN network to develop actions on this important threat to the marine ecosystem.



- Overview of existing knowledge

- Presentation of this action objective for the MedPAN Network as well as existing information on invasive species and consultation of key goals of the strategy for marine invasive management in protected areas

- Mediterranean Action Plan concerning species introductions (Mamias Plaform)

- Discussion on how to link to existing information platforms for early detection, evaluation, communication and rapid response for the MedPAN


Activities and schedule

- Presentation of an advanced version of the strategy
- Launch of the tools
- Discussion on next steps



- Common strategic orientations and tools at the Mediterranean MPA level for minimizing the risk posed and reducing the negative impacts caused by invasive species.
- Identify values at risks and vulnerabilities
- Set up monitoring frameworks for alien species
- Use of adaptive management



Samples of the factsheets of marine invasive species for Mediterranean MPAs can be seen in MedPAN North Booth.
Special memory gifts will be given to active participants.




Focus session organised by IUCN / MedPAN North project
Tuesday 27 November, 10.00 - 11.00 AM