University of Alicante leads a project for the environmental optimisation of Cabo Tiñoso and Escarpe de Mazarrón
The University of Murcia Institute for Water and the Environment is participating in the CAMONMAR2 project, co-funded by the EU and the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture’s Biodiversity Foundation
The collection of information proposed by CAMONMAR2 is essential for the preservation of species like dolphins, that inhabit the area under study.
Alicante. 24 January 2018
University of Alicante Department of Marine Sciences and Applied Biology is leading the project CAMONMAR2: Planning the marine area of Cabo Tiñoso and submarine valleys of Escarpe de Mazarrón. According to project’s main researcher Francisca Giménez, the main goal is to improve the knowledge of habitats of special fishing and environmental interest to optimise the management of the area of Cabo Tiñoso and the underwater valleys of Escarpe de Mazarrón (CTEM)". In this sense, Giménez says they intend to "expand the baseline information for a correct regulation of the activities that take place in the study area and identify the so-called 'hot spots' for the conservation of key species, mainly cetaceans like the 'Tursiops truncatus', 'Caretta caretta', 'Grampus griseu' or 'Mola mola', among others. The project seeks to perform 11 actions oriented to promote information, raise awareness and collaboration, involving socioeconomic sectors and users of the sea in the co-responsibility of marine management. This is why several activities and workshops will be carried out in 2018 to allow researchers to assess biodiversity and traditional fishing.
For this project, the University of Alicante has the University of Murcia Institute for Water and the Environment (INUAMA) as a partner and the Biodiversity Foundation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment as a collaborator through the Pleamar Programme, and has been co-financed by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
CAMONMAR2 has been one of the 43 projects selected for the 2017 Pleamar Programme Call, coordinated by the Biodiversity Foundation, with a budget of €216,096.80.
The marine area under study, located in front of Cabo Tiñoso, in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula, on the coast of the Region of Murcia (between Águilas and Cabo de Palos), has a great diversity of species, habitats and communities. "The studies carried out in the area highlight the highly relevant ecosystem qualification regionally, nationally and all over Europe", as explained by the project’s main researcher, who reports that this is why this coastal strip "has been acquiring legal protection in recent years" This coastal strip is made up by part of the LIC (submerged coastal strip of the Region of Murcia) and the SPA (marine area of the litoral islets of Murcia), in addition to the SPA (Isla de Las Palomas), the ZEC (submerged valleys of the escarpment of Mazarrón) and Cabo Tiñoso Marine Reserve.
However, despite its relevance and the declaration of legal protection, "a good management of marine areas is not ensured nor the achievement of preservation goals, biodiversity protection and sustainability of economic activities," Giménez regretted. Hence, the fundamental objective of the project is to improve knowledge for an integrated and effective management of the CTEM marine protected area, by generating basic information for decision making when regulating the activity in the area.
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