Conservation leading organisations join forces to improve field research on key marine habitats and species in the Mediterranean.
On 19 May 2011 in Marseille (France), the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (RAC/SPA), the French Agency of Marine Protected Areas and the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS) have signed an agreement to bring together their scientific and technical knowledge, but also to put together the necessary technical and financial arrangements to enrich the knowledge available and better protect the resources in the area through these two particular projects..
The two Mediterranean schemes will focus on a survey for cetacean (dolphins, whales and porpoises) population and distribution, also considering turtles and seabirds, also top predators of the ecosystem. The second initiative will focus on submarine deep sea habitat prospecting campaigns, in particular submarine canyons and mounts.
The French Agency for Marine Protected Areas has offered to appoint, in collaboration with IUCN, a project manager to help in identifying sources of funding for launching both projects. The signing organisations will also facilitate contacts with the national authorities and other regional, European and international organisations to assist the process.