Play Your Part In Saving The Mediterranean

Help To Save The Mediterranean

Stock image of BluefinTuna in the Mediterranean. Credit: lunamarina/

The Mediterranean is under threat, but there is a personal opportunity to play a part in helping it to recover.

When Jacques-Yves Cousteau visited Spain in 1979, he was the first to raise the alarm about the Mediterranean’s dire state, as reported by

He remarked, ‘Its waters are undergoing a modification of such magnitude that in practically half a century marine life will have been eliminated, such as we found it now.’ He added, ‘We have confirmed once again that the situation in the Mediterranean is alarming.’ His predictions and timeline were spot on.

The Mediterranean’s Crisis

Evidence suggests that the Mediterranean has drastically changed in recent decades. It’s now the world’s most overfished and polluted sea. It’s warming at an alarming rate and holds the record for invasive species. Despite these challenges, only 0.23 per cent of the Mediterranean is adequately protected.

The Benefits of Protecting 30 per cent

Both scientific research and the European Community highlight the advantages of ‘no take’ marine protected areas for fishing. For instance, fish numbers in highly protected marine reserves are 670 per cent higher than in unprotected areas, according to Sala, E., & Giakoumi, S. (2018). After establishing six reserve areas in Gokova, Turkey, the local fishing community’s economic income surged by 400 per cent. Additionally, fish numbers per square metre increased tenfold. In the world’s largest non-fishing protected area, the Papahanaumokuakea sanctuary in Hawaiian waters, tuna fishing rose by 54 per cent in just five years around the marine protected area.

Why  30 Per Cent?

The United Nations and the European Community, heeding scientists’ advice, advocate for this figure. Numerous measures are essential to halt its decline, but the most pressing is safeguarding 30 per cent of its waters. This will prevent ecosystem collapse and boost local fishing.

In December 2022, the World Biodiversity Conference, hosted by UNESCO in Montreal, saw 196 countries, including Spain, commit to protecting 30 per cent of their territories, both on land and at sea, by 2030. The real challenge now is genuine protection and meeting this deadline.

The Need For This Initiative

Despite countries’ international pledges to shield their marine territories, many governments establish marine protected areas without the necessary measures. This results in 95 per cent of Mediterranean marine protected areas having identical regulations inside and outside, rendering them ineffective.

Play Your Part

By adding your name to the petition it is hoped that this could result in a real change for the better. Sign to protect 30 per cent of the Mediterranean in order to recover local fishing and prevent the collapse of its ecosystems. Join Reserva 30 del Mediterraneo and sign the Manifesto for the Mediterranean.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals. When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.


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