Assessment of the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas

Marine Protected Areas (MPA) play a vital role in the conservation of marine biodiversity and in  promoting the sustainable management of marine resources, as they are the cornerstone of the conservation of the marine environment. The effectiveness of MPA depends on different factors, such as planning, management, as well as on man-made challenges they face.

In the Mediterranean this is a topic of great importance, especially due to the global initiative 30×30, where governments are encouraged to protect 30% of their land by 2030. To further improve our knowledge and understanding, the Pandoteira project is conducting an assessment of the effectiveness of the MPA in the protection of fisheries resources. This is particularly important for an island like Cyprus, as fish stocks are under a lot of pressure, due to climate change, the invasion of alien species and fishing pressure.

What Pandoteira does about it

Within the framework of the Pandoteia project, we are currently conducting a study to assess the effectiveness of two MPAs of the Natura 2000 network – in Cape Greco and Kakoskali – in protecting fish fauna levels. Our aim is to establish whether the protection regime has helped to protect fish stocks, both inside and outside the Natura 2000 MPAs. In order to assess the situation, we have collected quantitative and qualitative data from both MPAs, as well as from designated reference stations outside the specific MPAs. The target is to examine and compare the population of fish stocks between the reference areas, where regular fishing occurs, and the protected areas, where protection laws are in place for fishing activities.

The study is conducted by AP Marine Environmental Consultancy Ltd, one of the Pandoteira project partners. The assessment results will generate useful information for the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research, to help improve the management of MPAs, which fall under the Natura 2000 network in Cyprus, and also make their protection more effective.


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