The number of recorded non indigenous species (NIS) in the Mediterranean Sea is far higher than in other European Seas. A EuroMarine workshop, entitled ‘Management of Bioinvasions in the Mediterranean Sea: the way forward’, addressed this issue by discussing a framework for a comprehensive action plan to manage NIS under the unique conditions of the Mediterranean Sea.
The workshop, organised and co-convened by Maria Cristina Gambi, a Senior Researcher at Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Napoli, was held in Ischia, Italy from 4-5 May 2016. The workshop participants formulated the ‘Ischia Declaration’, a document calling for specific strategic actions focused on effective science-based transboundary management of bioinvasions to reduce the risk of new introductions and the further spread of NIS already present in the Mediterranean Sea. Though States are responsible for ensuring that activities within their jurisdiction do not damage the environment of other States, effective management of marine NIS in the Mediterranean Sea depends on policy coordination with the Regional Sea Convention (Barcelona Convention).
Prof. Bella Galil, workshop convener and a Senior Scientist at the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Tel Aviv University, said: “The number of non-indigenous species, far higher in the Mediterranean than in other European seas, doubled between 1980 and 2016. The sea’s shallow water biota, including important marine protected areas, has already been altered by the negative ecological, economic and human health impacts arising from bioinvasions. We call on the Parties to the Barcelona Convention to take immediate effective measures to protect the sea from further bioinvasions.”
For more information on this event, please see the event link to "Management of bioinvasions in the Mediterranean - the way forward".
The press release and declaration can be downloaded below.