INTERVENTION AREAS

Chioggia- North Adriatic Sea

Despite the Adriatic Sea is an hot spot of biodiversity, it also represents one of the most exploited basin of the Mediterranean Sea with fishery targeting both pelagic and demersal recourses, due to the use of many different fishing gears (Barausse et al., 2011).

Some fishing practices, such as bottom trawling, have caused a widespread decline in exploited fish stock and deep deupaperation of the local marine biodiversity

In particular, in Chioggia is located one of the most numerous and active fishing fleet of the entire Mediterranean Sea, constituted by over 200 fishing vessels.

Lampione Island-Strait of Sicily

Located in general protection zone of AMP Isole Pelagie, is a uninhabited small island(1,2kmq) 18 miles away from Lampedusa island, the major of the Archipelagos.

It is used for artisanal fishing (longline, line) and tourism activities (diving, snorkeling, fishing sportive etc) authorized by AMP year-by-year through specific rules.

In spite of these measures, illegal fishing (as trawl and illegal fishermen) is a persistent problem and it is difficult to limited its impact because a constant control and monitoring is very expensive for MPA and local authorities.

Carcharhinus plumbeus reappeared in this area at the beginning of the 2000 and during the last 15 years many groups have been regularly observed by recreational divers around Lampione island.

A stable population of the sandbar shark Carcharhinus plumbeus, a vulnerable species (IUCN red list) in the Mediterranean Sea, has been reported in shallow water of the Pelagie Islands MPA, particularly at Lampione Island where several scuba divers and fishermen informed about its presence since several decades.

Moreover, during last 5 years local fishermen reported approximately 50 accidental captures or sighting per year.

Amp Tavolara-Punta Coda Cavallo-North Eastern Sardinia waters

The Marine Protected Area of Tavolara (AMPT) is located in the NE of Sardinia and it overlooks the vast area represented by the Central Tyrrhenian Sea, characterized by a specific morphology of the seabed; in fact, there are numerous seamounts and canyons underwater and oceanographic phenomena such as upwelling. In the last 15 years different scientific and monitoring activities carried out by AMPT allowed to highlight the regular and numerous occurrence of different rare elasmobranch species inhabiting the AMP.

In particular, the AMPT evidenced the basking sharks, Cetorinhus maximus (a critically endangered species) in the waters of the AMPT of sea circumscribed by the AMPT overlooks the vast area represented by the Central Tyrrhenian Sea, characterized by a specific morphology of the seabed; in fact, there are numerous seamounts and canyons underwater and oceanographic phenomena such as upwelling.

Gallipoli, CirĂ² marina-Porto Ceasareo-Ionian Sea

The Ionian Sea is characterized by a narrow continental shelf with a steep slope, which allows a significant rise of deep water.

This hydrodynamism is the basis of the great biodiversity of this sector of the Mediterranean Sea, also consisting of the presence of a great variety of megavertebates, such as pelagic teleosts (sword fish, tuna), many sharks, cetaceans and marine turtles.

However, the Ionian Sea is also strongly exploited by demersal and pelagic professional fishery.

In this area evidence of overfishing has been observed since the mid-1980s.

Trawl and purse seine catches have declined in the Hellenic Ionian Sea over the last decade, suggesting a remarkable depletion of pelagic and demersal stocks, sharks included.

Cyprus-Levantine Sea

Cyprus, elasmobranches are strongly affected by the surface longline fishing and many species are near collapsed state.

Recent study by the partner MER and participation onboard in longline fishing vessels for three years has shown that elasmobranch species constitute around 5-10 % of the swordfish fishery.

Main bycatch shark species included blue shark (Prionace glauca), mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) and thresher shark (Alopias spp.).

The study of MER has also shown that Alopias superciliosus is more common in the eastern Mediterranean than previously thought, and a relatively common bycatch species in the longliners of Cyprus.