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Goals and results

The project aims to contribute to the Action plan (2008/56/EC) for an integrated maritime policy in the Mediterranean by promoting sustainable fishing practices over the benthic communities and promoting the information exchange about good practices between stakeholders in order to achieve the conservation of habitats.

Actions foreseen in the project are:
1. Locate areas of continental shelf with low pressure from trawler fishing where artisanal fisheries fish in Spain, Italy and Tunisia and delimitation of those areas.
2. Determine dynamics of demersal artisanal fisheries and identify local métiers of artisanal demersal fisheries (combination of fishing gear, target species, geographical area) which are present in the study areas.
3. Assess impact of artisanal fisheries on seabed and benthic communities by conducting surveys with fishermen and remote-operated vehicles. Determine the conservation state of seabed ecosystems applying Marine Strategy Framework Directive methodology.
4. Consult with local artisanal fleet to draw up recommendations from the results for reconciling fisheries and ensuring the conservation of benthic communities.
5. Detect ecologically valuable areas for conservation and protection to be proposed as protected marine areas under the European Directives and / or the Barcelona Convention.
The project will involve fishermen and marine stewardship bodies to suggest management guidelines and potential protected marine areas based on sound scientific evidences. Furthermore it will develop an integrated GIS database with the compiled information with a specific cartography of each area integrating the existing data from previous projects and the information obtained from the results of ECOSAFIMED.