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With the health of the world's oceans threatened as never before, it is becoming increasingly apparent that Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) play a vitally important role in protecting marine and coastal habitats. Management of Marine Protected Areas: A Network Perspective draws on the results of a major EU-sponsored research project related to the establishment of networks of MPAs in the Mediterranean and Black Seas that transpired from February 2011 to January 2016. Featuring contributions by leading university- and national research institute-based scientists, chapters utilize the latest research data and developments in marine conservation policy to explore issues related to ways in which networks of MPAs may amplify the effectiveness and conservation benefits of individual areas within them. Topics addressed include the broader socio-economic impacts of MPAs in the Mediterranean and Black Seas; the use of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) to resolve conflicts between marine resource use and protection; special protection measures under the EU's Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD); ecological value assessments in the Black Sea; the Ecosystem Approach (EA) for managing marine ecosystems; MPAs along Turkey's Black Sea coast; MPAs and offshore wind farms; and managing and monitoring MPA networks within and between the Black and Mediterranean Seas. Timely and important, Management of Marine Protected Areas: A Network Perspective offers invaluable insights into the role of MPAs in preserving the welfare and long-term viability of our world's oceans.

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Table of Contents


Title Page

List of Contributors


Editor’s Preface

1 From Marine Protected Areas to MPA Networks

The Ecology of Beauty

From Landscapes to Habitats

From Hunting and Gathering to Farming

Landscapes, Habitats and Fish are Not Enough

Good Environmental Status


Networking According to Nature or to Bureaucracy?

Towards a Holistic View of Marine Systems

The Cells of Ecosystem Functioning

Mapping the Seas

Upgrading the Observation Systems and Managing the Networks

Human Capacity Building

Extinction in the Mediterranean Sea

Conclusion and Recommendations



2 Ecological Effects and Benefits of Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas


Ecological Benefits of MPAs

Management Implications


3 Typology, Management and Monitoring of Marine Protected Area Networks


Network Formation Characteristics

MPA Network Typology

MPA Network Management and Monitoring




4 Marine Protected Area Governance and Effectiveness Across Networks


How the MPA is Managed: Management Structures within MPAs

Who Makes Decisions: Different Governance Types within MPAs

The Effectiveness of MPAs

Conclusion: Priorities for MPA Management


5 Marine Protected Areas as Spatial Protection Measures under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive


Area of Application of the MSFD

Implementation Process

Spatial Protection Measures

Types of Spatial Protection Measures

Closing Remarks


6 Socioeconomic Impacts of Networks of Marine Protected Areas


State of the Art

MPAs in the Mediterranean and Black Seas

Lessons Learned for MPAs

Concluding Remarks



7 Multi‐criteria Decision‐Making for Marine Protected Area Design and Management


Multi‐criteria Decision Methods

Dealing with Uncertainty

Choosing the Right Approach

Multi‐criteria Analysis in a Spatial Dimension



8 Ecosystem‐Based Management for Marine Protected Areas


Marine Protected Areas and Networks

The Use of Ecosystem‐Based Management for MPAs and Networks

A Systematic Approach for Using the EBMS in MPA Management

Discussion and Conclusions



9 Developing Collaboration among Marine Protected Area Managers to Strengthen Network Management


Once Upon a Time, the Mediterranean Basin Filled Up Again … and Soon Emptied

How the ‘Reasonable’ Person Revelation Sparks Environmental Conservation Policies

The Escalating Establishment of MPAs in the Mediterranean since 1960

From Marine Natural Features under a Bell Jar … to Participatory Measures for Managing Pressures

What is a Social Network?

MedPAN: An Example of an MPA Social Network

Social Network Analysis: MedPAN Network under Scrutiny

Possible Reasons for Joining a Niche Social Network such as MedPAN

How a Network of MPA Managers Strengthens the Management of MPA Networks

Lessons from Other MPA Social Networks Worldwide

What Could Come Next?



10 Eyes Wide Shut


Marine Alien Species in the Mediterranean Sea

Porous Borders: Alien Species in MPAs

See No Evil

Management: Eyes Wide Shut

So What Is To Be Done?


11 Marine Protected Areas and Marine Spatial Planning, with Special Reference to the Black Sea

Marine Spatial Planning and Marine Protected Areas: Compatible or Conflicting Concepts?

The Law of the Sea: A Hindrance to MSP?

EU Instruments: A Fresh Impetus to MSP

The Black Sea: Evaluation of Progress on MSP at a Regional Level



12 Black Sea Network of Marine Protected Areas


Overview of MPAs in the Black Sea

Ecological Characteristics of the Ukrainian Part of the Black Sea

Approaches to Management and Monitoring of MPAs in Ukraine

Using Environmental Sentinels for Public Monitoring of MPAs

Expansion of the Ukrainian MPA Network




13 Prospects for Marine Protected Areas in the Turkish Black Sea


Overview of the Regional Situation

Turkish Perspectives and Rationale for Establishing MPAs

A Case Study of Şile Proposed MPA

Legal Framework Concerning MPAs in the Turkish Part of the Black Sea

Socio‐economic Benefits of MPAs in the Turkish Part of the Black Sea



14 Marine Protected Areas and Offshore Wind Farms


Offshore Wind Farms

Potential Impacts of OWFs on Marine Life

Rejected OWF Proposals

Potential of Floating Platforms




End User License Agreement

List of Tables

Chapter 03

Table 3.1 MPA management plans included in the MPA network review process.

Table 3.2 MPA network typology for the Mediterranean and Black Seas.

Table 3.3 MPA networks and appropriate site‐level management and monitoring actions.

Chapter 04

Table 4.1 IUCN protected area categories.

Table 4.2 IUCN protected area categories: examples from MPAs.

Table 4.3 Typology of governance types in protected areas.

Table 4.4 The IUCN protected area matrix of management categories and governance types.

Table 4.5 Impact of MPAs on fisheries: some recent research examples from around the world.

Chapter 06

Table 6.1 Comprehensive list of potential socioeconomic impacts of MPAs.

Table 6.2 Valuation techniques available for economic valuation of ecosystem services in MPAs.

Chapter 08

Table 8.1 Main conclusions and recommendations concerning the status of MPAs in the Mediterranean Sea.

Table 8.2 Relationship between the Ecosystem Approach principles developed by the Convention on Biological Diversity and their application to MPA management frameworks.

Chapter 12

Table 12.1 Black Sea MPAs of international and national level in Ukraine.

Table 12.2 Generalized matrix of expert assessments of ecological processes in the Black Sea coastal zone.

Table 12.3 Average score of anthropogenic impact (AI) on selected marine and coastal sites in Ukraine.

Table 12.4 Matrix of cross‐correlation between seven selected biological characteristics of marine ecosystems for determination of their weight coefficients (




Table 12.5 Status of protection of Black Sea coastal and marine areas in Ukraine and associated integrated index of biological value (




Chapter 13

Table 13.1 Main threats identified for the proposed MPAs on the Turkish coast of the Black Sea.

Table 13.2 Fishing methods and number of local and external fishermen.

Chapter 14

Table 14.1 A summary of the main effects on marine life during the construction and operational stages of OWFs.

List of Illustrations

Chapter 01

Figure 1.1 Circulation patterns in the Mediterranean Sea. A surface current enters the basin from the Gibraltar Strait, flows through the Sicily Channel and reaches the Levant Basin. The Gibraltar Current flows back at about 500 m depth as the Levantine Intermediate Current. Water renewal below 500 m occurs through the ‘cold’ engines in the Gulf of Lions for the Western Basin and in the Northern Adriatic and Northern Aegean Seas for the Eastern Mediterranean. In the cold engines, cold, oxygen‐rich water flows through canyons (bottom left inset) with a ‘cascading’ process. The canyons outside cold engine areas can trigger upwelling events (bottom right inset). Other patterns of circulation regard the formation of gyres (top inset).

Chapter 02

Figure 2.1 Temporal pattern of the relative frequency of species among the largest specimens captured in the regional competitions of spear‐fishing in the Balearic Islands. It can be seen that the dusky grouper

Epinephelus marginatus

lost its preponderance among the biggest specimens from the end of the 1980s.

Figure 2.2 Temporal pattern of mean abundances of some large predatory species, and considering all piscivorous species together, in the Cabo de Palos – Islas Hormigas marine reserve, Cartagena, Spain (solid circles) and in an exploited control locality (open circles) after the establishment of protection measures in 1995. Although the first stages of recovery are fast in protected areas, total recovery is a long process.

Figure 2.3 Differences in temporal patterns of biomass of six highly vulnerable fish species (

Epinephelus marginatus


Sparus aurata


Dentex dentex


Dicentrachus labrax


Diplodus cervinus


Sciaena umbra

) monitored vs. time of protection for marine reserve (solid circles), partially protected reserve (open circles) and non‐reserve (solid triangles), in the Medes Islands marine reserve and neighbouring coast.

Figure 2.4 The differences in carrying capacity and recovery time between the Medes Islands MPA and three Balearic MPAs are evident despite the fact that the biomass of only six species were taken into account in the Medes Islands, whereas in the Balearic Islands MPAs total commercial fish biomass was included.

Figure 2.5 Total fish biomass in several MPAs and areas open to fishing in the Mediterranean Sea. The differences between well‐enforced no‐take reserves and other MPAs are obvious, but the differences between different well‐enforced protected areas are also striking, indicating that factors other than effective protection have a strong influence on fish biomass. AP, apex predators; CA, carnivores; ZP, zooplanktivores; HE, herbivores and detritivores.

Figure 2.6 Mean commercial fish biomass at Nord de Menorca marine reserve at three protection levels; note that fish biomass at site 1 (closed circles) in the partially protected area is clearly superior to the biomass observed at site 2 (open circles) of the no‐take area.

Figure 2.7 Temporal trends of abundance and biomass of the spiny lobster

Palinurus elephas

in the Medes Islands MPA over a period of 20 years.

Figure 2.8 Classical model of a trophic cascade due to overfishing in rocky infralittoral algal assemblages. Recent studies have demonstrated that factors other than fishing are important in regulating sea urchin densities in the Mediterranean Sea.

Figure 2.9 Mean density (individuals per 10 m


 ± SE) of sea urchin

Paracentrotus lividus

(>1 cm diameter) inside and outside the Medes Islands MPA on boulder substrates. Arrows indicate abnormally high peaks of annual recruitment. R, reserve; NR, non‐reserve.

Figure 2.10 (a) Observed and expected total biomass values (






, respectively) in two no‐take sites from two marine reserves where the model was tested: Mitgjorn Marine Reserve (MIG 1 and MIG 2) and Cabrera National Park (EST and FOR). (b)



in increasing order of



values from 28 exploited sites of the Balearic Islands; the grey band shows the biomass range window within the exploitation status of each site that could be considered sustainable (0.35 




 < 0.63 




being the value of carrying capacity).

Chapter 03

Figure 3.1 Schematic representation of nested and overlapping MPA network types.

Chapter 04

Figure 4.1 Protected area coverage in percentage for the 232 marine ecoregions of the world.

Figure 4.2 WCPA protected area management effectiveness framework.

Chapter 06

Figure 6.1 Links between functions, services and well‐being adopted by The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity (TEEB).

Chapter 07

Figure 7.1 Pareto analysis of different management options for the Camargue eel fishery with respect to two objectives (maximizing adult spawner escape and maximizing fishing yield). Each symbol represents a management policy; filled symbols indicate Pareto‐efficient policies (Pareto boundary). Policies within the shaded area dominate the current fishery management with respect to both objectives.

Figure 7.2 Examples of utility functions: (a) economic value (million dollars) of recreational harvest in Lake Erie; (b) average wage of fishermen employed in the demersal fishery of the southern Adriatic Sea (


, current wage); (c) chlorophyll‐a concentration in Lake Erie (µg/l); (d) fishing mortality of demersal species in the southern Adriatic Sea (



, fishing mortality at maximum sustainable yield).

Figure 7.3 Hierarchy of performance criteria for the assessment of a candidate MPA in western Canada.

Figure 7.4 Taxonomy of imperfect knowledge and the corresponding range of uncertainty.

Figure 7.5 Examples of sensitivity analyses. (a) Optimal policy for nutrient management in Lake Erie as a function of the weights assigned to chlorophyll‐a concentration and balance of the fish community. (b) Empirical frequency distribution of the overall utility of four management policies for the demersal fishery of the southern Adriatic Sea.

Figure 7.6 Basic steps of a Marine Spatial Planning process.

Chapter 08

Figure 8.1 The MPAs of the ‘Cap de Creus’ region. (1) The ‘Cap de Creus’ SCI, a maritime‐terrestrial Natural Park. (2) The ‘Sistema de cañones submarinos occidentales del Golfo de León’ SCI, an offshore Natura 2000 area.

Figure 8.2 A DPSWR representation of the platform of indicators for the EBMS information pillar. Ecosystem service provision icons obtained from The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB).

Figure 8.3 The managerial pillar of the EBMS showing the different stages used in the policy cycle, following the Deming cycle of management.

Chapter 09

Figure 9.1 Number of national MPAs established since 1963 up to 2013, and cumulative number.

Figure 9.2 Map of all MPA entries from MAPAMED (top) and representation of MedPAN member MPAs (bottom).

Chapter 10

Figure 10.1 The number of non‐indigenous species (NIS) in some Mediterranean countries. In dark grey is the fraction of species probably introduced through the Suez Canal. The circle sizes are proportionate to the total number of NIS recorded in the country by 2016.

Figure 10.2 Rabbitfish

Siganus rivulatus

in a heavily grazed rocky reef, Akhziv MPA, Israel.

Figure 10.3

Pterois miles

, an Erythraean lionfish, at Akhziv MPA, Israel.

Chapter 12

Figure 12.1 The Black Sea MPAs of international and national importance.

Figure 12.2 Historical stages of eutrophic status in the north‐west Black Sea shelf: I –

natural state

; II –

intensive eutrophication

; III –


; IV –

steady trend of de‐eutrophication

(SI reflects the intensity of primary production processes in marine coastal ecosystem; S/W reflects the ecological activity of bottom vegetation: see text for details).

Figure 12.3 Current Ukrainian MPA network and proposed new MPAs.

Chapter 13

Figure 13.1 Circulation patterns in the Black Sea (see text for details).

Figure 13.2 Sub‐ecoregions of the Black Sea and proposed MPAs in Turkish Black Sea waters. 1, Pre‐Bosphoric Region; 2, North‐western Shelf; 3, Kerch Strait; 4, Southern Part. A, İğneada; B, Şile‐Kefken; C, Doğanyurt; D, Samsun deltas; E, Mezgit Reef.

Figure 13.3 Sink regions for modelled pelagic larvae. Dashed lines encircle the proposed five MPAs for the southern Black Sea coast (see text). The thick black line marks the 1700 m isobath separating coastal regions from the open sea. Virtual larvae were released within the 6 km band surrounding the entire Black Sea coast.

Figure 13.4 Connectivity matrices for modelled pelagic larvae released in coastal regions only (see Figure 13.2) on 1 January, 1 April and 1 July (first to third column) in each of the years 2001, 2002 and 2003 (first to third row) with a PLD of 45 days. Matrices indicate the probability (%) for larvae originating from a source region (


‐axis) to be transported to a sink region (


‐axis) estimated from individual 30‐day trajectories. The thick black line separates shelf regions from open sea regions >1700 m deep (R12–15).

Figure 13.5 End points for modelled pelagic larvae with a PLD of 45 days released in coastal regions only (see Figure 13.2) on 1 July 2002 for the coastal region (a) 1, (b) 2, (c) 3 and (d) 4. Grey shades denote the different regions these larvae ended up in (see Figure 13.3). Black squares in (a), (b), (c) and (d) show the end points of pelagic larvae released in Şile, Doğanyurt, Kızılırmak and Mezgit Reef, respectively. Open black diamonds in (a) show the end points of those released in İğneada.



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Management of Marine Protected Areas

A Network Perspective


Edited by Paul D. Goriup











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List of Contributors

Alexandrov, BorisInstitute of Marine BiologyNational Academy of Sciences of UkraineOdessaUkraineEmail: [email protected], SinanInstitute of Marine ScienceMiddle East Technical UniversityErdemliMersinTurkeyBeal, StephenNatureBureauNewburyUKEmail: [email protected], IsabellaCOISPA Tecnologia & RicercaBariItalyBoero, FerdinandoUniversità del Salento – CNR‐ISMARItalyEmail: [email protected], DanielResearch Group of Prof. Dr. Detlef CzybulkaFaculty of LawUniversity of RostockGermanyEmail: [email protected], MargarethaFondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) and Euro‐Mediterranean Center for Climate ChangeVeneziaItalyCebrian, EmmaCentre d’Estudis Avançats de Blanes (CEAB‐CSIC)GironaSpain;Department of Environmental SciencesUniversity of MontiliviGironaSpainClaudet, JoachimNational Center for Scientific ResearchCRIOBEPerpignanFranceDominguez‐Carrió, CarlosInstitut de Ciències del Mar (ICM‐CSIC)BarcelonaSpainDudley, NigelEquilibrium ResearchBristolUK;School of GeographyPlanning and Environmental Management at the University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustraliaEmail: [email protected], JulianDepartment of BiologyFaculty of ScienceUniversity of MaltaMaltaFach, Bettina A.Institute of Marine ScienceMiddle East Technical UniversityErdemliMersinTurkeyGalil, BellaThe Steinhardt Museum of Natural HistoryIsrael National Center for Biodiversity StudiesTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsraelEmail: [email protected]‐Rubies, AntoniCentre d’Estudis Avançats de Blanes (CEAB‐CSIC)GironaSpainEmail: [email protected], Josep MariaInstitut de Ciències del Mar (ICM‐CSIC)BarcelonaSpain Goriup, Paul D.NatureBureauNewburyUKEmail: [email protected], ThomasNatureBureauNewburyUKHockings, MarcSchool of GeographyPlanning and Environmental Management at the University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustraliaKeskin, ÇetinFaculty of FisheriesIstanbul UniversityBeyazıtIstanbulTurkeyMacpherson, EnriqueCentre d’Estudis Avançats de Blanes (CEAB‐CSIC)GironaSpainMarch, DavidSOCIB – Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting SystemPalmaSpainMarkandya, AnilBasque Centre for Climate Change (BC3)BilbaoSpain;Ikerbasque FoundationBilbaoSpainMelià, PacoDipartimento di ElettronicaInformazione e BioingegneriaPolitecnico di MilanoMilanoItaly;Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Scienze del MareRomaItalyEmail: [email protected], GalinaInstitute of Marine BiologyNational Academy of Sciences of UkraineOdessaUkraineOjea, ElenaBasque Centre for Climate Change (BC3)BilbaoSpain;University of VigoSpainEmail: [email protected]Öztürk, Ayaka AmahaFaculty of FisheriesIstanbul UniversityBeyazıtIstanbulTurkeyÖztürk, BayramFaculty of FisheriesIstanbul UniversityBeyazıtIstanbulTurkeyEmail: [email protected], MartaBasque Centre for Climate Change (BC3)BilbaoSpain;Ikerbasque FoundationBilbaoSpainRequena, SusanaInstitut de Ciències del Mar (ICM‐CSIC)BarcelonaSpainSanders, NatalieNatureBureauNewburyUKEmail: [email protected]á, RafaelCentre d’Estudis Avançats de Blanes (CEAB‐CSIC)GironaSpainEmail: [email protected], EvaLeibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional DevelopmentDresdenGermanyEmail: [email protected], Patrick J.Department of BiologyFaculty of ScienceUniversity of MaltaMaltaEmail: [email protected]ğlu, BülentFaculty of FisheriesIstanbul UniversityBeyazıtIstanbulTurkeyWebster, ChloëMediterranean Protected Areas Network (MedPAN)MarseillesFranceEmail: [email protected], YuvenaliyInstitute of Marine BiologyNational Academy of Sciences of UkraineOdessaUkraine


So much of our national and international effort to protect nature has been concentrated on terrestrial protected areas. Even the international agreements under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have accorded less prominence to protecting coastal and marine areas. Indeed, it was not until the agreement of the CBD’s Aichi targets for 2020 in 2012 that marine protection began to gather real momentum with a target of 10% coverage compared with 17% for the terrestrial environment. This refocusing is a welcome recognition of the importance of looking after coastal and marine ecosystems in the longer term, especially in the light of the progressive degradation as a result of human activities at sea and on land and the relatively uncertain effects of global climate change. Now, there is a need to concentrate greater effort on strategic planning in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, including the establishment, protection and enforcement of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in these two naturally, culturally, economically and socially important seas. So this book is a timely reminder of what we know, what problems need to be addressed, what progress has been made, what can be learnt from other parts of the world, what actions are being taken and what more needs to be done using MPA mechanisms and processes to sustain life in and around the seas in the longer term.

It is obvious that the coastal and marine environment cannot be considered in isolation to what happens on land, especially the effects of infrastructure development on many parts of the coastline of the two seas to exploit the favourable weather conditions and shoreline situations and the delivery of water, nutrients and pollutants (and consequential eutrophication) into the seas from the surrounding rivers.

It is also obvious that looking after the marine environment of the two seas cannot just focus on nature and be a top‐down process focusing on the protection of species and habitats. Both seas have a long history of human occupation and human passage in all directions and there are many internationally important cultural artefacts reflecting this long history. And there are many communities still dependent on the seas for the provision of natural resources for human survival, especially fish. The question of which comes first – nature or people – is an often‐posed one in this book. The answer is both as they are really indivisible – hence the development of new approaches to looking after nature, including MPAs, which stress the importance of societal engagement throughout rather than the more traditional western approach of leaving it to the experts in nature. This does not mean that understanding and maintaining and, where necessary, restoring natural processes is not important: it is vital for the future of nature itself and for the survival of human societies.

The development of protection of the coastal and marine environment has to be seen from the perspective of nation states which have a stake. In all, 21 nations have coasts on the Mediterranean Sea, and whilst there are six on the Black Sea coast, another 10 nations make inputs through the rivers flowing into the sea.

With these points in mind, why do the Mediterranean and Black Seas require MPAs? The simple answer is that there are international and regional agreements requiring signatory states to protect the marine environment. More fundamentally, there remain many conflicts, for example, between fishermen and conservation to ensure that fish stocks are in a healthy biological state for the future, between tourism development and coastal pollution, between waste disposal through the river systems and the cleanliness of the marine environment, and between over‐exploitation of key species and water pollution and their gradual loss and in some cases extinction. And, there is the potential inequality between those nations which exploit more resources and those which have a lesser environmental footprint. It is for these reasons that formal conventions have been long established for each of the seas: the Barcelona Convention for the Mediterranean and the Bucharest Convention for the Black Sea. Within these multilateral structures, many protocols for the protection of the seas have been developed, including systems of protected areas. Of particular note are the Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance and the Special Areas of Protection in the EU Member States. But protection is not just about designation of sites and areas, as there are too many so‐called parks which exist only on paper. It is more fundamentally about the perpetual protection of nature and natural processes within the context of changing societal values, availability of new scientific information, and implementation of effective processes of engagement for all stakeholders. Only through these approaches can the effectiveness of protection be secured and be assured for the future.

Much good progress has been made, as the chapters in this book illustrate. Of particular note are the sanctuaries and no‐take zones to allow fish stocks to recover from over‐exploitation and for the spawning biomass to increase to a state of biological sustainability and therefore allow fishing to recommence. There are important ‘spillovers’ of young fish from these protected areas into the wider seas which indicate that fish stocks are recovering. Also of note are the interactive processes established between the nation states and also, for example, between the MPA managers under the MedPAN initiative. A great deal is known about how the seas operate naturally – the water flows and the current patterns at all levels in the water column – and therefore where there are more likely to be pollution sinks and lack of water interchange which create negative conditions for marine life. Within the territorial seas of the EU Member States the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, with its target of achieving Good Environmental Status in all EU Waters by 2020, is a testing and very welcome target to stimulate action.

But more needs to be done bearing in mind that only 0.012% of the Mediterranean Sea is fully protected with effective MPAs and only about 1.7% of the Black Sea has protected area status.

In the former, greater action over the whole sea and coastal area, rather than just within the EU Member States’ jurisdiction, is needed; but this has to recognize the relatively weaker economies, especially in North Africa and the Middle East, and therefore the limited resources available to address these issues. The learning of lessons from the various EU initiatives, and the EU states continuing to help the non‐EU states to do more through technical aid and financial support, would be a very worthwhile effort. Also, means of cooperation through informal networks, such as the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, are important for sharing knowledge and experience of what works and what is less successful.

The key issue, seen from an external perspective, is to ensure that all of the nation states around the two seas are fully committed to working together and within their own territorial seas to achieve protection and restoration of the natural environment for the benefit of their own citizens now and in the future. This requires political will which is not always forthcoming and is often placed well behind other pressing priorities. Maybe arguing for acting in the nation’s own interests and at the same time acting in the interests of ‘the commons of the seas’ might have some effect. Certainly new laws and protocols take a long time to get agreement and implement, so softer approaches are worthwhile in the shorter term.

Taking the long view is key if the measures implemented are to be effective in safeguarding nature and natural processes and providing benefit to human communities. Inevitably, this may mean reductions in income in the short term, for example for fishermen while stocks are allowed to recover, or increases in the costs to developers to reduce environmental side effects. That surely is a price worth paying for the longer term interests of nature and society jointly.

The diversity of the seas, the challenges due to the varying depths and nature of the water columns, and the variation in the human impacts all suggest to me the need for tailor‐made measures for protection within the general approaches laid down in the two conventions and in the EU Natura programme for EU Member States. There is no need, however, to reinvent the wheel as there is plenty of international experience, some of which is cited in the book, on which to base improvements in the protected mechanisms used. The work under the IUCN Marine Protected Areas Programme is a classic source for ideas and approaches and what works in different situations which would merit greater attention and use by practitioners in both seas. Adoption of protected area practices from the terrestrial sphere is, however, very unlikely to be helpful as they are less dynamic, and are rarely three dimensional – with the exception of the learning from best practice examples globally of connecting individual protected areas into networks especially in recognition that nature does not recognize site boundaries imposed upon it for administrative convenience. Clear management objectives and means of measuring effectiveness of implementation and feeding back into reviews of management are critically important; the IUCN Management Effectiveness Evaluation approach is well tried and tested around the world for this purpose.

Engagement of key stakeholders throughout the process of development, implementation and review of effectiveness of MPAs is absolutely necessary – we know from experience around the world that imposed top‐down solutions do not work. Given the diversity of cultural histories and modern culture around these seas, recognition has to be given to ensuring that representatives of these aspects are factored into the process of design and management of MPAs. Hence, the IUCN work on governance types and mechanisms is a very helpful toolkit as are the methods of ecosystem‐based management described in the book. It also means ensuring that expertise on negotiation and conflict resolution are part of the armoury of those involved in seeking agreement on strategies and action plans, otherwise disputes will continue and there will be no meeting of minds on what really needs to be done.

I hope that all of those who read the chapters in this book will be encouraged by what has been achieved through implementing MPAs in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. More importantly, I hope that readers will be stimulated to engage in further improving the quality of the coastal and marine areas for the benefit of present and future generations. Remember this means making sure that nature is allowed to function effectively, otherwise human society in the future will not benefit.

Professor Roger Crofts CBE, FRSE, FCIEEM, FRSGS, FRGS, FRSAWCPA Regional Vice‐Chair Europe 2001–08, WCPA Emeritus

Editor’s Preface

The genesis of this book lies in a large‐scale collaborative research project, ‘Towards coast to coast networks of marine protected areas (from the shore to the high and deep sea), coupled with sea‐based wind energy potential’ (CoCoNet), funded by the European Community’s 7th Framework Programme from 2012 to 2016 (Grant Agreement No. 287844). Led by the Italian National Inter‐University Consortium for Marine Science, under the management of Professor Ferdinando Boero, CoCoNet was one of the largest multi‐disciplinary environmental projects ever to cover both the Mediterranean and Black Seas simultaneously. With 39 partners from 22 countries, CoCoNet strove to apply a holistic ecosystem approach to the management of the two basins, with a particular focus on developing a scientifically rigorous system for establishing ecologically coherent networks of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). In addition to the science, CoCoNet also investigated associated socio‐economic issues (led by NatureBureau, UK), and the technical potential for integrating offshore wind farms with the marine environment (led by the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Greece).

As the project reached maturity and the results were both being shared among the research teams and being widely published in journals (in more than 140 papers), it became apparent that some of the key cross‐cutting ideas risked being fragmented or diluted unless they could be drawn together in a single volume. Through the good offices of Bob Carling, NatureBureau approached Wiley with a proposal for a book, mainly drawing on the results of CoCoNet, but also containing contributions from other world authorities in MPAs to more fully elaborate the concepts presented. Wiley accepted the proposal and this book came to fruition.

Not only does this book share a lot of new knowledge about the state of the marine environment in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, it does so around the central theme of networks of MPAs. Of course, the notion that individual MPAs would be ecologically more useful and effective if they are linked in networks (or systems) has been around for a long time. Indeed, there are a plethora of manuals and guidelines explaining how this should be done. However, there is surprisingly little evidence that networks deliver significantly more than the sum of their parts. To a large degree, this is due to an inevitable lack of comparative controls against which to assess how a particular network is faring. But other important reasons include the absence of a strong theoretical basis for their design, and imprecision about what an ‘ecologically coherent’ MPA network actually constitutes, as well as how such networks can be built, managed and monitored as discrete entities.

Such problems are explored in this book and some potential advances proposed: how to locate ecologically coherent MPA networks within ‘cells of ecosystem functioning’ (CEFs), that can be defined as ‘a marine volume with coherent oceanographic, biological and ecological features, leading to higher degrees of connectivity than with nearby CEFs’; that networks can come in a variety of mutually interacting types that, once made explicit, can be used to design effective ‘network‐aware’ management strategies; and that the adoption of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC) and Maritime Spatial Planning Directive (2014/89/EU) by EU Member States has put in place a progressive legislative system for achieving Good Environmental Status of EU marine waters, a system in which MPAs, as individual sites and as networks of them, will have a strong role to play in the two seas.

The network perspective of the book, based on the typology described in Chapter 3, can be used to analyse its 14 chapters as shown in the matrix. Each chapter addresses two or more of the network types identified in that chapter (namely Conservation, Connectivity, Socio‐economic, Geographic, Collaborative, Cultural and Transnational) in order to give full coverage of the wide variety of forms and functions of MPA networks.

Paul D. GoriupChairman of the BoardNatureBureau, Newbury, UK

1From Marine Protected Areas to MPA Networks

Ferdinando Boero

Università del Salento – CNR‐ISMAR, Italy

The Ecology of Beauty

Just like terrestrial National Parks, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) were first established at places where biodiversity had some prominent features. In the Mediterranean Sea, for instance, the first MPAs were established at places that were perceived as ‘beautiful’ by scuba divers who started to explore marine landscapes and singled out the most scenic ones (see Abdulla et al., 2008 for a review on Mediterranean MPAs). The European Landscape Convention (ELC) (Council of Europe, 2000) is in line with this approach to site selection. The ELC, in fact, states that ‘The sensory (visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, taste) and emotional perception which a population has of its environment and recognition of the latter’s diversity and special historical and cultural features are essential for the respect and safeguarding of the identity of the population itself and for individual enrichment and that of society as a whole’.

What is perceived as valuable in a given environment, then, is part of the heritage of the resident population and contributes to its culture. The positive impressions described in the ELC simply identify beauty, defined as follows in a popular dictionary: ‘a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight’.

The perception of beauty, however, is directly linked to cultural paradigms and can change with them. Cetaceans, for instance, were once perceived as evil ‘monsters’ that brave sailors had to exterminate, as Melville’s story of Moby Dick tells us. Nowadays, they are worshipped as gods. Even white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias), again depicted as terrifying beasts in movies like Spielberg’s Jaws, are now considered as highly valuable, deserving strict protection.

Following this aesthetic approach, large vertebrates or, in alternative, beautiful and scenic habitats (i.e. the charismatic expressions of nature) are usually identified as deserving protection, whereas important ecological actors are simply ignored. Everybody wants to save the whales, but nobody wants to save the bacteria, even if bacteria are indispensable for ecosystem functioning (and also for our own body functions), whereas whales are not. On the one hand, our impact on bacteria is not so huge: they become rapidly resistant to antibiotics and are not affected much by our influence, being able to evolve rapidly so as to cope with environmental changes. On the other hand we could easily exterminate cetaceans, if only we intended to do it.

The preservation of beautiful portions of the environment, and of the fauna and flora inhabiting them, has been instrumental in the understanding of the value of nature. This approach to the defence of nature is shared by almost all environmentalist movements who evoke charismatic portions of nature in their logos, full of dolphins and panda bears. The growth of human population, with the adoption of economic paradigms aimed at the continuous growth of the economic capital, as if resources were infinite, has led to an alarming erosion of the planet’s natural capital. Habitat destruction, both on land and in the seas, and climate change show that we need more than beauty to preserve nature. Protected areas, in this framework, have been some sort of surrogate that justified the destruction of nature where protection was not directly enforced. Focusing on the unique and beautiful facets of nature, often perceived as the sole expression of ‘biodiversity’, led to protection of natural structures, while disregarding natural functions that are not restricted to charismatic species and habitats.

Beauty is important, but the conservation of nature requires more than aesthetics.

From Landscapes to Habitats

The European Landscape Convention is centred on the way the culture of a population perceives and modifies nature, somehow ‘improving’ it with wise management. This is particularly evident in countries like Italy, where millennia of agriculture and architecture have led to unique landscapes that are considered of paramount importance in Article 9 of the Italian Constitution. In this sense, the landscape is the result of human interventions that led to changing a ‘wild’ expression of nature into a ‘gentler’ one. Usually the products of these interventions are aesthetically valid, and the result is beauty. However, a beautiful landscape might be limited in the expression of biodiversity (especially if agriculture is involved), calling for the need of preserving nature per se, and not its modifications, whatever their aesthetic value. It can happen, furthermore, that a local ‘culture’ adopts some behaviours that are against the integrity of nature, as happened in Region Apulia with date mussel (Lithophaga lithophaga) consumption. The harvesting of date mussels from rocks caused extensive denudation of Apulian rocky bottoms (Fanelli et al., 1994). The destruction of hard bottom habitats came to an end only after a long process of generating public awareness, together with the enforcement of new laws.

To cope with an overly anthropocentric approach to our interactions with the environment, the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) embraced a completely different perspective: habitats of community importance must be protected, even if this goes against the aspirations of the resident populations!

Sites protected under the Habitats Directive do not necessarily comprise beautiful landscapes, and the low level of ocean literacy in almost every country is often a source of conflict between the expectations of lay people and the preservation of natural capital. The resident communities are puzzled when they are prevented from building a new harbour just because there is a seagrass meadow on the bottom. Local populations often label as ‘algae’ the phanerogam Posidonia oceanica, whose presence can lead to the establishment of a protected site, and consider it as a nuisance. The decomposing leaves that accumulate on the beach repel tourists, who complain about their appearance and smell. The recognition of the ecosystem service of these accumulations of leaves is not part of local cultures, who do not realize that stranded leaves protect the beach from erosion. The stranded leaves are removed, sometimes with bulldozers, and huge quantities of sand are removed with them. Lacking a buffer of amassed leaves, wave action starts to erode the beach. Beaches are a source of income, and the wider they are, the higher the income, since more tourists can be crammed onto them. Beach erosion reduces incomes, and this is redressed by beach replenishment. Without the protection of Posidonia leaves, however, the newly placed sand is also rapidly eroded and often accumulates on the seagrass meadow, smothering it. Posidonia meadows are bioconstructions, since the new rhizomes grow over the old ones, raising the bottom of the sea and making it more stable. The death of the meadow is a catastrophe for the coast, since its role of erosion buffer ceases to protect the shore. Once the protection from erosion is completely gone, due to unwise management of coastal systems, physical defences are built in order to protect the beach, with a radical change of the whole landscape.

It is undeniable that some ‘cultures’ have a vague understanding of the functioning of nature, and the Habitats Directive is an attempt to bring a more objective approach to our relationship with natural systems.

Our land‐based culture, however, still biases the Habitats Directive because although it considers marine habitats that are not necessarily ‘beautiful’, they are invariably benthic. For the Habitats Directive, the marine space is bi‐dimensional, just as the terrestrial one. The third dimension, on land, is occupied just by the size of bodies, and by the temporary presence of flying organisms in the air, so it is right to speak about ‘areas’. In marine systems, however, the water column is a three‐dimensional habitat for a host of organisms that have almost no interactions with the sea bottom. Since oceans cover over 70% of the Earth, the water column is the most widespread habitat of the planet, and it is a volume. Many marine organisms live their whole life suspended in the water, and even benthic ones derive their food from currents, not to mention the spread of propagules. A Habitats Directive which includes the marine biome but does not consider the third dimension of the water column is fundamentally flawed.

Protecting beautiful places, and managing the habitats of European Community importance, is a first step towards recognizing the significance of the marine environment, inviting science to design an approach to its management and protection that goes beyond the biases of the current ‘culture’. Indeed, it calls for actions aimed at developing the ‘ocean literacy’ to alter our scant perception of the values of the oceans that is linked to our terrestrial history.

From Hunting and Gathering to Farming

If we were just like all the other species on the planet, when our populations increase to above the carrying capacity (i.e. the maximum number of individuals of a species an ecosystem can bear), overly eroding the natural capital that sustains us, our numbers should decrease due to a shortage of resources. This would lead to the re‐constitution of the natural capital, according to the popular prey–predator model developed by Lotka and Volterra (Gatto, 2009), in which we are the predators and the rest of nature is the prey. But we are not like the other species. When confronted with a shortage of natural resources, we abandoned hunting and gathering and invented agriculture (Diamond, 2002). We domesticated a restricted set of animal and plant species, and started to culture them so as to satisfy our needs. Agriculture leads to the eradication of all competing species from a piece of land so as to rear just the domesticated one. The terrestrial animals we rear as food are almost invariably herbivores or, in some cases, omnivores, and we cultivate the plants we feed them with. This leads to habitat modification, and what the ELC considers as precious is often just the eradication of natural diversity and its substitution with agricultural systems.

In terrestrial systems there are no natural populations of both animals and plants that can provide massive amounts of resources. In the seas, by contrast, we can still extract resources from natural populations, and fishing is just a form of hunting. In recent decades, however, we have been rapidly passing from harvesting fish, crustaceans, molluscs and so on to aquaculture. What happened on land is now happening in the seas: wild populations cannot feed us all, and our pressure on them is leading several species towards commercial extinction, meaning the benefits from fishing are less than the costs incurred. Increasing the efficiency of fisheries, furthermore, is giving little hope of saving the remaining fish. The transition from fisheries to aquaculture is the final stage in the shift from hunting and gathering to farming. In the sea, contrary to what we do in terrestrial systems, we tend to rear carnivores rather than herbivores.

The Western world, in fact, is fed with farmed carnivorous species, such as sea bream (Dicentrarchus labrax) and salmon (Salmo salar and Oncorhynchus spp.), fed with smaller fish caught from surviving natural populations. This is clearly an unsustainable operation, since it exacerbates the overexploitation of natural populations: after having destroyed the populations of the larger fish, we culture them and we feed them with smaller fish caught from natural populations. Emerging countries cannot afford such costly forms of aquaculture and eat lower quality, but also less impacting, farmed herbivorous species such as tilapia (Tilapia spp.) and pangasius (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus).

The awareness of the impact of industrial fishing did induce some management of natural populations resulting in the protection of target species from overexploitation (Pikitch et al., 2004). This has been done by restricting fishing activities at important places and during important periods. The relevance of these spaces and times depends on the biology of the species under management. Spawning grounds, nursery areas, and feeding grounds are identified species by species, and fisheries are restricted in order to allow for successful recruitment of the managed species. The ban of industrial fishing, per se, is a measure of protection and its positive impact, albeit temporal, is another form of marine conservation even though the aim is just to relieve fish from our excessive pressure, so as to continue to exploit their populations.

The reproductive rates of many fish species are so high that populations can be restored in reasonable time, as the abundance of fish in well‐managed MPAs demonstrates (Guidetti et al., 2008). Since the environmental impact of farming carnivorous species is higher than that of simply fishing, the survival of sustainable natural fisheries is a measure of the health of marine systems, and fisheries science must lead to better results, in conjunction with conservation science.

Landscapes, Habitats and Fish are Not Enough

The introduction of concepts such as ‘ecosystem‐based management’, ‘ecosystem approach’ and ‘integrated coastal zone management’ is the clear expression of a broader view in the way we interact with the rest of nature (Pikitch et al., 2004; Heip et al., 2009). Ecosystems are not just structures, they also function through myriad processes, as their name implies. Knowledge of the connections among the different structures is crucial for managing what we intend to exploit, and to conserve what we want to protect. The link between biodiversity (structure) and ecosystem functioning (function) is the conceptual tool that guides a proper understanding of how the natural world works (Heip et al., 2009). In a strategic document, the European Marine Board identified the adoption of holistic understanding as the greatest challenge for marine scientists worldwide (Arnaud et al., 2013). It is obvious, for instance, that fish do not proliferate as isolated entities from the rest of the environment: they need to be considered as part of ecosystems throughout their life cycle, from the fertilized egg to the adult. This, for instance, should oblige fisheries scientists to consider the impact of predators of fish eggs and larvae, such as gelatinous plankton, in their models of fish population dynamics (Boero, 2013). The match (or mismatch) of a bloom of the by‐the‐wind sailor (the hydrozoan Velella velella) with the spawning of fish species that deliver floating eggs, for instance, can have (or not have) devastating effects on the fisheries yields of the subsequent months (Purcell et al., 2015). However, the cause–effect relationship is usually not perceived since the impact (fewer fish) becomes apparent only when the cause (increased Velella predation and/or competition) is over, the lapse of time depending on the growth rate of the fish species concerned. If larval mortality is treated as a constant in fisheries models, fisheries management cannot be effective. The causes of potential failures in fish recruitment (resulting from depressed larval development) must be ascertained and fisheries science must overcome the almost complete separation from gelatinous plankton science (Boero et al., 2008).

Similarly, the quality of the various habitats that fish frequent during their whole lifespan can have a crucial impact on fisheries yields, determining more or less successful recruitment. Yet, the scientists who study fish populations in MPAs are usually not directly involved in traditional fisheries science, even if their research tends to show that MPAs often improve fish yields due to spillover effects (Planes et al., 2000). Fisheries scientists, though, usually disregard the role of MPAs and propose other management measures to promote sustainable exploitation of fish populations. Fisheries scientists are probably right, since the total surface of MPAs is scant, if compared with the vastness of the oceans, and the protected environments are almost invariably coastal and restricted to the sea bottom. While the current extent of protected marine space can improve local conditions, it is nowhere near sufficient to manage the entirety of fish populations. Furthermore, fisheries are just one of the manifold threats to the marine environment, and a more integrative approach to conservation is badly needed.

Good Environmental Status

Of course, a solution might be to increase the size and the density of MPAs, encompassing the SLOSS debate (Single Large Or Several Small) (Olsen et al., 2013) with the Several Large approach. The increase in both the number and the size of MPAs, however, would cause conflicts between national and local authorities and the resident communities that, usually, are resistant to any limitation of their ‘freedom’ of (ab)using the environment.

Networks of MPAs seem the best solution for this conundrum (Olsen et al., 2013). The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD, 2008/56/EC) sets the target of reaching Good Environmental Status (GES) in all EU waters by 2020. The situation of the European Seas will improve significantly if this strategic goal can be achieved, or at least if the trend towards its achievement triggers effective conservation measures.

The MSFD includes 11 descriptors of GES, which in their synthetic formulation are:

Descriptor 1: Biodiversity is maintained

Descriptor 2: Non‐indigenous species do not adversely alter the ecosystem

Descriptor 3: The population of commercial fish species is healthy

Descriptor 4: Elements of food webs ensure long‐term abundance and reproduction

Descriptor 5: Eutrophication is minimised

Descriptor 6: The sea floor integrity ensures functioning of the ecosystem

Descriptor 7: Permanent alteration of hydrographical conditions does not adversely affect the ecosystem

Descriptor 8: Concentrations of contaminants give no effects

Descriptor 9: Contaminants in seafood are below safe levels

Descriptor 10: Marine litter does not cause harm

Descriptor 11: Introduction of energy (including underwater noise) does not adversely affect the ecosystem.

As Boero et al. (2015) remarked, pursuing GES based on these measures represents a real revolution in the management of marine ecosystems. In the past, the precise measurement of key environmental variables (temperature, salinity, nutrients, pollutants of any kind) was considered to be sufficient to evaluate the state of the environment. This led to the establishment of sophisticated observation systems that check these variables through the use of satellites, buoys, gliders, and a vast array of sensors. The collected data are then stored in huge databases that contain the ‘history’ of environmental systems. The factors that should inform us about the quality of the environment, however, do not represent the real state of any habitat. From the perspective of GES, these variables acquire a meaning only when they affect the living component: if some of these variables change but this does not lead to any change in the biological component of ecosystems, then the change is irrelevant. The individual stressors, furthermore, do not act in isolation from each other. Instead, they interact with each other, with cumulative effects that might lead to misinterpretations of the quality of the environment. If considered in isolation from each other, these variables can have values that are below the threshold that is known to affect the living component of the environment. These effects are often assessed by laboratory experiments, under controlled conditions, in which only one variable is altered, whereas the others remain constant. The ensuing tolerance curves assess the impact of each stressor on selected species. However, even if the values of each stressor are below the thresholds, it can happen that biodiversity loses vigour, and many key species show signs of distress due to cumulative impacts (Claudet and Fraschetti, 2010).

To cope with this shortcoming, the MSFD defines GES while considering the status of both biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The first descriptor of GES is just the status of biodiversity, whereas all the other descriptors regard the impact of specific stressors on biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and, in the case of Descriptor 9, human health.

Once a stress is identified, in terms of biodiversity and/or ecosystem function perturbation, then it can be addressed so as to mitigate its impact.

The logic of this approach is impeccable, but its application is far from straightforward. It is very simple to produce sensors that measure physical and chemical variables; even biogeochemistry can be assessed with automated instruments. Moreover, the geological features of the sea bottom can be mapped and assessed with very powerful tools. The descriptors of GES, however, consider biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and the currently available instruments do not measure these features: they mostly consider abiotic features or measure some simple biotic variable, such as chlorophyll concentrations.

A new way of looking at the quality of the environment is then required, and the study of MPAs is somehow ‘pre‐adapted’ to tackle this problem. Marine Protected Areas have been instituted to protect biodiversity and to enhance ecosystem functioning, and so adhere, at least in theory, to all the specifications of GES. The assessment of the efficacy of MPA management should consider the attainment of GES. If the requirements prescribed by some descriptors are not met, management should be changed in order to remove impediments to the attainment of GES.