Marine conservation challenges in an era of economic crisis and geopolitical instability: The case of the Mediterranean Sea

Stelios Katsanevakis*, Noam Levin, Marta Coll, Sylvaine Giakoumi, Daniel Shkedi, Peter Mackelworth, Ran Levy, Adonis Velegrakis, Drosos Koutsoubas, Hrvoje Caric, Eran Brokovich, Bayram Öztürk, Salit Kark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


In the Mediterranean Sea, socio-economic drivers may accelerate the process of exclusive economic zone (EEZ) declarations. Despite the challenges, the EEZ declarations may provide important opportunities for leveraging change to national policy towards the development of large-scale conservation of marine ecosystems and biodiversity in this zone. Using the Mediterranean Sea as a case study, we aim to highlight a set of best practices that will maximize the potential for the development of large-scale marine conservation initiatives. These include a range of approaches, such as using surrogates to fill the many biodiversity data gaps in the region, further the development of consistent and open access databases, and the utilization of technological developments to improve monitoring, research and surveillance of less accessible and under-explored marine areas. The integration of Mediterranean-wide and local conservation efforts, the facilitation of transboundary collaboration, and the establishment of regional funds for conservation will further enhance opportunities for marine conservation in this region.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
JournalMarine Policy
StatePublished - Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank all of the participants of the 2nd International Workshop “Advancing Conservation Planning in the Mediterranean Sea”, (8–11 April, 2013; Nahsholim, Israel) for discussions and contributions that inspired and shaped this paper. SG was supported by the project “NETMED” co-funded by the European Social Fund and the Greek State. MC was funded by the Marie Curie Career EU Integration Grant Fellowships to the BIOWEB project and by the Spanish National Program ‘Ramon y Cajal’. PM was supported by the National Foundation for Civil Society Development and the project ‘NETCET’ funded by the IPA Adriatic CBC program. SaK is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow. The analysis and views presented in this paper should be taken as the personal perspectives of the authors and cannot be regarded as the official position of the European Commission and the other affiliated institutes.


  • Conservation opportunities
  • Data gaps
  • Exclusive economic zones
  • Marine conservation
  • Mediterranean
  • Transboundary collaboration


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