Blue Economy and Marine Conservation: Safeguarding Mediterranean MPAs to achieve Good Environmental Status


Presentation of the PHAROS4MPAs recommendations to the Aquaculture Advisory Council in Brussels.

On October 11th 2019, the University of Girona (UdG) participated to the 58th Edition of the Barcelona International boat show.

On September 10-12 WWF participated to the 1st International Conference on Maritime Transport which took place in Rome, Italy.




Thinking beyond MPA borders

The current “blue growth” trend in the Mediterranean Sea is accelerating at an unsustainable pace. There is an urgent need for integrated ocean management throughout the whole basin. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) safeguard marine ecosystems, processes, habitats and species. They also contribute to the restoration and replenishment of resources for social, economic, and cultural enrichment. Many economic sectors have traditionally functioned within or near protected areas.

The current EU Blue Growth strategy means that MPAs face increased requests for economic development within their limits, with greater pressure and impact on the marine environment. Mediterranean Maritime Spatial Planning Authorities will have to take MPAs into account, as foreseen by the commitments stemming from the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Habitats Directive, if they want to progress towards a Good Ecological Status for the Mediterranean Sea.

There is a wealth of published results and recommendations regarding MPAs and their interaction with economic sectors, yet an integrated approach for the Mediterranean is lacking. The PHAROS4MPAs project seeks to capitalise on existing results and ultimately deliver an integrated framework for recommendations on collaboration between Mediterranean MPAs and major maritime sectors.


Project partners

Economic sectors


months duration


M€ project budget