Initiative to reenergise the Pelagos Sanctuary

31 Jul 2014
The Pelagos Sanctuary

The Pelagos Sanctuary

European Commissioner Maria Damanaki has taken the initiative to reenergise the Pelagos Sanctuary and plans to bring together France, Italy and the Principality of Monaco to discuss how the EU's policy tools, including the possibility of financial support from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), can be used to facilitate such policies.

“The Pelagos Sanctuary is the biggest protected area in the Mediterranean,” said Commissioner Damanaki, “and it holds great potential as a best practice example of how sustainable blue growth can work in busy and densely populated areas, while protecting marine life, including fish.

“We need to discuss how the EU's Common Fisheries Policy and Integrated Maritime Policy can ensure the Pelagos Sanctuary is operational and to support blue growth in the region. I intend to work in this direction in the coming weeks with the three key countries of the Pelagos Sanctuary as well as with the stakeholders of the region.”

France, Italy and the Principality of Monaco signed the trilateral Agreement establishing the Pelagos Sanctuary in 1999. The agreement came into force in 2002 and the protected area, mostly in international waters, was recognised as a Specially Protected Area of Mediterranean Interest (SPAMI) under the Protocol SPA/BD of the Barcelona Convention. The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean also has underlined the interest of designating Pelagos as an experimental zone in the ecosystem approach to fisheries management.

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