Mediterranean monk seals under threat

Geographical location:

Europe/Middle-East > Southern Europe > Greece

The Mediterranean monk seal is Europe's number one endangered marine mammal.
© WWF-Canon / Jacques TROTIGNON


The Mediterranean monk seal is one of the most threatened mammal species in the world, with only an estimated 500 left in the wild. Excessive hunting, habitat destruction, marine pollution and depletion of its main food source, fish, have contributed to its demise.

WWF and its partners are working with local fishermen in Greece to establish no-fishing zones around monk seal breeding caves, fighting illegal fishing activities, monitoring the recovery of fish stocks and increasing public awareness of monk seal conservation.


Improve the conservation status of the European Union’s largest population of the critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal, by changing the interaction between the monk seal and the fisheries sector which continues to seriously threaten the species survival.

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