LIFE MareNatura

Title: Conservation of priority species of marine megafauna in Greece and Italy

Funding Source: EU HEurope

Budget IMBBC: 1,706,918€

Start / End Date: 2023 - 2029

Web site URL: https://www.lifemarenatura.eu/en/


Project Progress: 17%

Principal Investigator:

Panagiotis Kasapidis

Project Members:

Research Directions:

Population genetics and phylogeography

Environmental genomics

Marine biodiversity

Ecology and ecosystem management

Description:

The LIFE MareNatura project aims to mitigate the threats to nine of the most endangered EU priority species of seabirds, marine turtles, and marine mammals in the Ionian, South Adriatic, and Aegean Seas. These regions host significant populations of the target species across 44 N2K project sites. The project involves a broad consortium of experienced stakeholders working together for the sustainable and effective conservation of these species and their marine habitats. To address existing knowledge gaps, the project employs a unique survey effort using modern technologies and methods to produce sufficient ecological information and appropriate planning tools, aiming to tackle the conservation challenges of the target species in the project area. Additionally, the project will create a Mediterranean Offshore Biodiversity hotspots Inventory (MOBI), propose suitable hotspots for inclusion in the Greek N2K network, and establish Site Specific Conservation Objectives and Management Guidelines for these new sites, as well as for the 44 project sites that are ecologically linked to these hotspots (e.g., breeding sites of the target species). The project will also enhance the conservation status of MOBI sites located in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction by engaging stakeholders and policy groups. An Integrated Monitoring Project will be developed and implemented to regularly assess the conservation status of the species, and a well-trained Marine Conservation Task Force will be formed to apply conservation measures. Additionally, the project aims to build the capacity of competent authorities for the conservation and active management of the project sites, ensuring the sustainability of the approach.