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© F.Bassemayousse / WWF France

WWF Mediterranean Initiative bulletin: Issue 8 October/November

Denis Ody following a group of whales.
Swimming for marine conservation
A very successful fundraising swimathon to support one of WWF Greece’s most significant marine projects, the CYCLADES LIFE project, took place in October at Porto Rafti, near Athens. Paul, a WWF Greece major donor, swam a distance equal to 300 Olympic-sized swimming pools and has raised to date more than €80,000, fully covering the remaining WWF contribution towards the CYCLADES LIFE project.
Read more in this interview with Paul.
Paul and Nathalie after their 15km swim.

© V.Kokkinidis / WWF Greece

Mediterranean bluefin tuna: quota increase too much too soon

“It might seem a paradox, but the bluefin tuna case confirms that sometimes it’s more difficult to manage a success than a crisis. It is hard to apply the term 'moderate' to an annual increase of 20% over 3 years. We are concerned that the huge conservation efforts of the last years might quickly fade away.”
Dr Sergi Tudela, Head of Fisheries, WWF Mediterranean

Fishing nations have agreed to an increased Mediterranean bluefin tuna fishing quota of nearly 20% every year, from 13,500 tonnes in 2014 to 19,296 tonnes in 2016, with a review planned for 2017. This is the outcome of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) special meeting in Genoa, Italy. WWF is concerned over the too rapid increase especially while little progress has been made to strengthen traceability in this fishery.

Read more.

One fish one story

© WWF Mediterranean

Engaging fishermen in Mediterranean MPAs
Artisanal fisheries in the Mediterranean Sea represent roughly 86% of the approximately 42,000 fishing boats in the region. The new publication Fishermen engagement in Mediterranean MPAs shows how involving fishermen in the establishment and co-management of MPAs has resulted in examples of successful coexistence between fishing and conservation interests. The report assesses the effectiveness of 26 MPAs and details how, in several MPAs, conservation efforts have resulted in stabilized or increasing fisheries yields.
Fishermen engagement in Mediterranean MPAs

© WWF France

Focus on: Taza National Park, Algeria

The scenery is of breathtaking beauty – volcanic mountains covered with a dense forest of cork oaks, the cliffs plunging into crystal clear waters.

Divers at Taza NP © WWF
In Algeria, the management planning process applied by the Taza National Park (Jijel Wilaya) is now regarded as a model for other Algerian coastal national parks. Over 4 years working with WWF Mediterranean, the Park managed to engage a wide variety of stakeholders at local and national levels to support the process of the official declaration of the new MPA at Taza. Innovative activities such as underwater trails – created in collaboration with local diving clubs – and an underwater photo contest have encouraged the involvement of a diverse range of people. The Park is now concentrating on developing ecotourism with plans for sustainable fishing activities next summer which will be a source of income for the local community, while respecting nature and local traditions.

Guard at Taza NP 
© Magali Mabari / WWF Mediterranean

Facts and figures: Taza

  • One of Algeria’s main tourist destinations, the Jijelian coast, also known as the Saphire Coast, welcomes over 5 million tourists each summer.
  • The marine part of Taza National Park encompasses 9,600 hectares and 30km of coastline.
  • 617 taxa have been identified in the waters surrounding the park.
  • Posidonia meadows are remarkable with formations on rocks that are only found in Algeria and Tunisia.
  • There are many other precious marine habitats – coralligenous, worm snails “trottoirs”, Cystoseira forests.
  • Endangered species (giant patella, pen shell and loggerhead sea turtle) are present.