Preserving Special Places

Protecting Marine Ecosystems

Marine protected areas provide important ecosystem protections from such destructive threats as trawling, contamination, anchoring over seagrass beds and illegal fishing.

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The Campaign

In order to address the need to protect seabeds from such destructive threats as trawling, contamination, anchoring over seagrass beds and illegal fishing, Oceana carries out research and classification campaigns in the marine habitats of the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Once the data is analysed, Oceana scientists compile a formal protection proposal for the areas whose characteristics require it and measures are established to carry out and/or request the recuperation of the degraded environments.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a Marine Protected Area (MPA) is “a clearly defined geographical space, recognized, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values.”

Oceana believes it is necessary to study and create marine protected areas in order to halt the degradation of the marine ecosystems. In addition, the information allows management measures to be established for the activities developed in this environment, including fishing. Consequently, protection can be increased for marine and coastal areas, activities in this environment are balanced and sustainable, and citizens respect and accept the protected areas.



Marine Protected Areas

Natura 2000

Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Gorringe Bank

What Oceana Does

Oceana conducts research on new marine species

In collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment and Biodiversity Foundation, Oceana has provided new exciting data about species and deep-sea marine habitats to the Spanish Inventory of Natural Heritage and Biodiversity. This project started in 2011 and its progress can be consulted on the interactive platform Oceana has provided dozens of descriptions of deep-sea marine habitats and has documented the presence of almost 200 species living in them, some of which haven´t been found before in those areas. This data will give us the opportunity to develop new management and protection measures.

Oceana takes steps to secure ecosystem health into the future

Oceana is a partner in Spain of the LIFE+ INDEMARES project, whose aim is to document areas of environmental interest so that they can be included in the Natura 2000 network. The organisation has been responsible for studying a sea mount, Seco de los Olivos, in three years of oceanographic campaigns. Oceana takes active part in the Natura Network monitoring seminars, as well as in European Union forums and events, to promote compliance with the Habitats Directive. In these events, Oceana makes its findings known, as well as other proposals, such as Oceana MedNet, which would contribute to fulfil the obligations established in the directive.

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