Mediterranean countries have committed to develop new management measures for vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) by 2018 at the latest. These unique ecosystems include cold water coral reefs, gardens of soft corals and deep-sea sponge aggregations, which are frequently associated with high levels of biodiversity. The first action will be to define a list of Mediterranean VME species, habitats, and related geological features (such as seamounts and canyons) as soon as possible, to be approved by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean  Scientific Advisory Committee in spring 2017.