Following up in its commitment to contribute to the UNEP/MAP process of developing the Ecosystem Approach for the Mediterranean, MIO-ECSDE participated at the 3rd Meeting of Technical Experts on the Ecosystem Approach, held in Istanbul on 10-11 Mach 2011.

During the two-day meeting, the Secretariat’s proposal on ecological objectives, operational objectives and indicators, as well as the timeline for the implementation of the ecosystem approach Roadmap was reviewed and discussed.

The proposed ecological objectives were developed based on the 11 EU-Marine Framework Strategy Directive (MSFD) descriptors, while taking into consideration the Mediterranean specificities including the findings from the Integrated Assessment Report.

The proposed ecological objectives (EO), which will be submitted to the Government Designated Expert (GDE) meeting, are the following:

E.O.1. Biological diversity is maintained or enhanced. The quality and occurrence of coastal and marine habitats and the distribution and abundance of coastal and marine species are in line with prevailing physiographic, hydrographic, geographic and climatic conditions.E.O.2. Non-indigenous species introduced by human activities are, to the maximum extent possible, at levels that do not adversely alter the ecosystem.
E.O.2. Populations of select commercially exploited fish and shellfish are within biologically safe limits, exhibiting a population age and size distribution that is indicative of a healthy stock.
E.O.4. Alterations to components of marine food webs caused by resource extraction or human-induced environmental changes do not have adverse effects on food web dynamics and related long term viability.
E.O.5. Human-induced eutrophication is minimized, especially adverse effects thereof, such as losses in biodiversity, ecosystem degradation, harmful algal blooms and oxygen deficiency in bottom waters.
E.O.6. Sea-floor integrity is maintained to the maximum extent possible, especially in key benthic habitats (e.g. coastal lagoons and marshes, intertidal areas, seagrass meadows, coralligenous communities, sea mounts, submarine canyons and slopes, deep-water coral and hydrothermal vents).
E.O.7. Alteration of hydrographic conditions does not adversely affect marine ecosystems.
E.O.8. The natural dynamics of coastal areas are maintained and natural coastal habitats are not degraded or lost due to human activities.
E.O.9. Contaminants and noise cause no significant impact on the marine ecosystems and human health.
E.O.10. Marine and coastal litter do not adversely affect biodiversity and ecosystem services.

To read the meeting’s conclusions click here

To find more information on the Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach in the Mediterranean please read the 58th issue of the MEDWAVES, the magazine of the Mediterranean Action plan.

For more info contact: Thomais Vlachogianni (