Would you like to view our US Site?

Last month, scientists from all parts of the Mediterranean Sea gathered at the 18th session of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), the regional body responsible for fisheries management in the Mediterranean Sea. The event once again centred on the bleak situation of Mediterranean fishing resources, in which 97% of stocks assessed are overfished and/or not sustainably exploited.

At 750 the number of recorded multicellular non indigenous species (NIS) in the Mediterranean Sea is far higher than in other European Seas: nearly triple the number of records known from the western European coastline from Norway to Portugal, and between 1970 and 2015, the number has grown by 215%. Of these, 450 were introduced through the Suez Canal, the balance are mostly ship and culture-introductions.

Anything can happen underwater, and even gardens are not necessarily composed of plants. In fact, one of the most beautiful habitats in the Mediterranean are coralligenous gardens, where trees are replaced by soft corals (gorgonians) and flowers give way to calcareous red algae and animals such as sponges and bryozoans. These wondrous places support a high biodiversity, and steps are now being taken to better protect them.