Mediterranean Initiative bulletin: Issue 5 / April-May 201419 May 2014, (Left to right) Demetres Karavellas, Leader (interim) WWF Mediterranean Initiative, Abdellah Srour, Executive Secretary, GFCM, signing the Memorandum of Understanding. Opening session of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), 38th Session. FAO headquarters, Rome, Italy.
Speaking at the recent WWF Annual Conference, Yolanda Kakabadse, WWF’s International President, recognized the effective inter-network cooperation of the 8 offices engaged in the WWF Mediterranean Initiative, and called for support and collaboration from the broader WWF network to take the Mediterranean Initiative to the next level. She congratulated the Mediterranean Initiative partners (WWF France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey with the Mediterranean Programme, European Policy Office and WWF International) for their impressive results so far, and their ambitions for future results.
“The Mediterranean is one of the most beautiful regions of this planet. And it's also a difficult challenge – the presence of so many countries and cultures forces all stakeholders to think ‘out of the box’.”
The Mediterranean Sea is increasingly exploited by a diversity of maritime activities: wind farms, oil extraction, cables, shipping routes, fisheries and tourism. To ensure that the Mediterranean Sea governance framework is equipped to meet oncoming challenges, the Mediterranean Initiative, under the leadership of WWF-France, has launched a project – MedTrends – to map potential maritime economic growth in 8 EU Mediterranean countries by 2030. MedTrends partners include WWF-Spain, WWF-Greece, WWF Mediterranean and partner NGO Nature Trust Malta with many other organisations both within and outside the WWF network involved in the project.
“Let the little fish grow”, WWF Greece’s online game, was played with great enthusiasm by Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, at the Athens launch of Inseparable, a Europe-wide European Commission (DG Mare) campaign to promote sustainable fishing. The game, which was funded by the EC, features commercial fish and raises awareness regarding the alarming state of fish stocks in the Mediterranean and the devastating consequences of fishing undersized, juvenile, fish.
A closer look
Here is an example from WWF Greece's online game:
IDENTIFY What fish is this? SEASONALITY When does it reproduce?
MINIMUM SIZE How big should it be before we can eat it?
98% of common pandoras are born female and reach their first sexual maturity at 15cm. By the time they reach 17cm they become males. By not eating common pandora between April and May, when they reproduce in the Greek Seas, you help protect their stock.
Campaigns at sea organised by WWF-France for 6 weeks each summer between 2010 and 2013 have provided a wealth of data on fin whales. After hundreds of pregnancy tests and biopsies we can report that the reproductive capacity of fin whales seems to have remained at a steady rate. Instead, juvenile mortality appears to be the major limiting factor of fin whale population restoration.
© naturepl.com / Mark Carwardine / WWF
SEA-Med, the largest MPA/Tourism project in the WWF network, focused on ecotourism in April and May, with regional workshops in Albania and Tunisia. Six project teams (from Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Libya, Tunisia, Turkey) began tourism planning for MPAs, under the guidance of WWF Mediterranean and WWF-Greece. Meanwhile, in Tunisia WWF Mediterranean North Africa team ran training workshops on the role of protected areas in promoting ecotourism and on public/private partnerships in ecotourism investment.