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© WWF Mediterranean /C. Menard

WWF MMI bulletin: October 2015

WWF Fish Forward stand at Expo Milan.
Sea turtle eggs hatch on Italian beach
Tourists assisting newborn turtles at Orbetello. © WWF Italy

It was around 10 in the morning when 30 baby turtles paraded past the eyes of amazed tourists on one of the most popular beaches – La Giannella – 140 km north of Rome and at the heart of the WWF Italy Oasis of Orbetello. Caretta caretta hatching on an Italian beach hasn't been seen for decades. The other good news is that the first to take care of the newborn turtles were the tourists themselves: they built a “fence” to protect the turtles on their way to the sea and called local authorities to report the event. Our campaigns on protected species have been a success!

Caretta caretta 
© WWF / M. Gunther
Caretta caretta
© WWF / M. Gunther
New momentum for Pelagos Sanctuary
Group of pilot whales (Globicephala melas). © F. Bassemayouse / WWF France

WWF has been working to mobilize the general public for the improved governance of the Pelagos Sanctuary. The first Mediterranean trans-boundary protected area, it was created in 1999 by Italy, France and the Principality of Monaco and is of critical importance for many species of marine mammal. WWF produced an assessment of the status and activities of the Pelagos Sanctuary and presented it to selected journalists in Montercarlo in September, creating a real new momentum for Pelagos. We want to see bolder investment, an improved system of governance involving MPAs and NGOs and the adoption of new management tools to secure financial resources in the long term. Read more (Italian and French)

Loggerhead turtle

Caretta caretta is one of the Med’s most characteristic species and one of the 7 species of marine turtles on our planet.
Threats: climate change, building on beaches, artificial lighting, plastic pollution, accidental entrapment in fishing equipment and intentional killing.
Survival: only 1 out of 1000 young turtles survives, but can then live up to 80 years.

A successful summer for Kaş-Kekova

There have been two important developments in the Turkish MPA of Kaş-Kekova recently. First, the Government of the Province of Antalya has taken an official step torwards creating an operational management unit for Kaş-Kekova by approving the establishment of a local working group for the MPA, including representatives from government institutions, local administrations and civil society. In additon, during summer WWF and diving operators made regular patrols of the MPA using private diving boats. Illegal fishing activities were reported to the Coast Guard and information was distributed to increase awareness of the importance of restricted zones.

Kaş-Kekova MPA, Antalya Province, Turkey.

© WWF Mediterranean /P. Guglielmi

Mediterranean fisheries: award to co-management
Sandeel fishing in Catalonia. © WWF Mediterranean

WWF has long been promoting fisheries co-management as a successful approach for sustainable fisheries, particularly demonstrated by the successful case of the governance of sand-eel fisheries in Catalonia, Spain. For this, Sergi Tudela and Susana Sainz-Trapaga of WWF Mediterranean were presented an award by the Catalan government in recognition of their support to sustainable fisheries through co-management in the region. WWF strongly advocates for a co-management model where all major stakeholders – fishers, scientists, civil society and governments – have a voice and a role to play in establishing the processes and rules for fisheries management in a given area. Read more.

Tuna certfication

Bluefin tuna. 
© Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic Stock / WWF

Fisheries management and bluefin tuna are major priorities for the MMI. As the purse seine fishing season for the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna opened this summer, WWF and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation called on the bluefin tuna fishing industry to avoid repeating past mistakes that led the stock to the brink of collapse. Both organizations call fishermen and retailers – beyond strictly respecting current management measures– to engage in certification. Read more.

Interview: experts and fishermen united for a common cause

Turning a fishing boat into a laboratory has its advantages when you are a professor. As a local, Said Chakour knows the area of the future Taza National Park MPA in Algeria and understands the value of inclusive management.

How did you initially get involved in studying MPAs? 
My interest in MPAs started more than 10 years ago in Brest, France, with the team of CEDEM, the Centre for Marine Law and Economics. While I was preparing my Ph.D. thesis on fishing economies in Algeria I improved my skills and was able to learn a lot. I was inspired to find a way to adapt the institutional and socio-economic aspects of MPAs to the southern Mediterranean context, especially Algeria.  I also addressed sustainable fishing in Algeria, taking a socio-economic dimension into account.
What is the “secret” that ensures that an MPA is perceived as a potential benefit by local communities?
The “secret” is inclusion. We want to avoid MPAs being perceived as a restriction to accessing resources. An MPA must be more than a protection tool: it must bring together fishermen and local actors for a better governance of their territory and their economic and social activities. This way, their involvement in decision-making processes becomes systematic.
What is your dream for the future of Taza National Park and for MPAs in Algeria?
My dream is to see the Taza NP management project succeed, so that it can be used at a national level and then at a Mediterranean level. The future Taza MPA can only have positive effects on the local economy. Consultation and collective decision making are our strengths and the positive impacts are countless. MPAs are a real driving force for local sustainable development.
The photo contest offers a fantastic visual testimony of the great beauty of marine biodiversity in Taza NP.

© WWF / Koudri Hocine, Hippone club, Annaba

Taza National Park annual photo contest

The annual underwater photo contest at Taza National Park, in Jijel province, is eagerly awaited by Algerian divers, allowing them to meet, discover and share the beauty of the region. From 23 participants in the first contest in 2011, today the number of participants has reached almost 400.
The event has triggered the development of new underwater activities – such as the creation of an underwater trail – and has encouraged a return to diving, not only as a sporting and leisure activity but also generating income locally. Many diving centres and shops have opened bringing employment and major economic benefits.