LIFE Project Cover Photo

Conservation of cetaceans and turtles in Andalusia and Murcia

Reference: LIFE02 NAT/E/008610 | Acronym: Cetáceos Mediterráneo

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

Society continues to intensively exploit the natural resources of the sea with little awareness of their value. Natural conditions, too, have impeded studying, monitoring and integral management of marine environments. Users of marine resources are not yet fully integrated into appropriate management models aimed at conserving marine habitats and species. As large marine animals, cetaceans and turtles are good indicators of the state of the sea suffering directly from environmental pressures. This includes over-fishing, use of inappropriate fishing techniques and accidental capture, pollution, destruction of sea bottoms through various activities and maritime traffic. Insufficiently regulating tourist observation of cetaceans has worsened matters.


OBJECTIVES

Within the framework of the Habitats Directive, this project aimed to develop management models for both turtles and cetaceans as well as those areas important for their conservation as agreed with relevant stakeholders and interest groups. The project area, on the southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula, is of great interest for the above species acting as a corridor between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. It is also important due to the substantial feeding and breeding areas. The project was to develop a range of activities from devising plans to manage habitats, species and applied research to raising awareness in whole sectors of society. Key elements in this project were consensus with users and managers of the sea and developing activities on the basis of local participation. Many of the planned actions, such as waste removal or reducing the impact of fishing techniques on turtles are to serve as examples for the future, thanks to the participation of social groups which depend on the sea.


RESULTS

This project has produced highly satisfactory results with many working documents, protocols and materials being generated and implemented. Key foundations have been set for management planning with all relevant parties. Awareness raising and dissemination activities were fully satisfactory and target species and site monitoring is operational. Fieldwork is providing information that feeds the models and software set to provide key scientific and technical information for proposing management measures. Given the economic importance of agriculture, fishing and tourism in the neighbouring Spanish regions of Murcia and Andalucía, this project, aimed at marine ecosystem conservation, has proved itself an important element of long term socio-economic development.This project has produced highly satisfactory results with many working documents, protocols and materials being generated and implemented. Key foundations have been set for management planning with all relevant parties. Awareness raising and dissemination activities were fully satisfactory and target species and site monitoring is operational. Fieldwork is providing information that feeds the models and software set to provide key scientific and technical information for proposing management measures. Given the economic importance of agriculture, fishing and tourism in the neighbouring Spanish regions of Murcia and Andalucía, this project, aimed at marine ecosystem conservation, has proved itself an important element of long term socio-economic development.

ADMINISTRATIVE DATA


Reference: LIFE02 NAT/E/008610
Acronym: Cetáceos Mediterráneo
Start Date: 01/07/2002
End Date: 30/06/2006
Total Budget: 3,474,234 €
EU Contribution: 1,737,117 €
Project Location:

CONTACT DETAILS


Coordinating Beneficiary: Sociedad Española de Cetáceos
Legal Status: NGO
Address: Cabeza de Manzaneda 3 Algeciras,, E-11390, Algeciras, España
Contact Person:
Email:
Tel:
Website: http://www.cetaceos.com


LIFE Project Map

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ADDRESSED

THEMES

  • Mammals
  • Reptiles
  • Marine

KEYWORDS

  • animal corridor
  • protected area
  • coastal area
  • marine environment
  • management plan

TARGET HABITAT TYPES

  • 0 - Non applicable (i.e.species project)

SPECIES

  • Balaenoptera physalus
  • Delphinus delphis
  • Stenella coeruleoalba
  • Caretta caretta

BENEFICIARIES

Name Type
Sociedad Española de Cetáceos Coordinator
Environmental Department Murcia, Spain Participant
Environmental Department Andalucía, Spain Participant
Ministry of the Environment, Spain Participant
University of Cadix, Spain Participant