The 2019 MedPAN Network regional experience-sharing workshop brought together this year nearly 140 marine actors from 23 Mediterranean countries and beyond (Belgium, Cape Verde, Mauritania and Switzerland), mainly representatives of MPA management bodies, institutions and NGOs, national MPA administrations and research bodies. The pleasant surroundings of the Yucelen hotel and the small town of Akyaka were conducive to fruitful exchanges and the strengthening of the ties binding the mobile species community in the Mediterranean.

2019 Workshop
Flickr album of the workshop photos

Fifty-one case studies were selected (among the 80 received) to illustrate the subjects discussed in 18 90-minute sessions, spread over 2 days; participants exchanged around common issues related to knowledge, awareness-raising, regulatory frameworks and enforcement, conservation and management measures as well as networks and collaborations.

The overall purpose of the workshop was to allow MPA managers, project leaders and stakeholders to pool and share information, expertise and experiences, take stock on the current challenges for the conservation of highly mobile species and build long-term approaches to implement solutions together.

The specific objectives of the workshop can be summarised as follows:

  • Provide an overview of the strategies, policies, projects and programmes for the conservation of highly mobile species in the Mediterranean in order to highlight what can be practically done in line with existing initiatives.
  • Help MPA managers understand how they can effectively contribute to the conservation of highly mobile species at the broader Mediterranean scale.
  • Help MPAs identify targeted measures to ensure effective management of highly mobile species.
  • Foster monitoring and management network-based approaches for the conservation of highly mobile species in their different habitats.
  • Demonstrate how species can be an effective means of motivating stakeholders engagement in MPA management.
  • Contribute to identify gaps and needs at the national and regional level, in particular concerning important areas that should be protected through MPAs or other conservation tools.

For a detailed look at the contents of the workshop, you can download the presentations and the programme. Thanks to these discussion sessions, participants were able to identify a set of recommendations that will be shared at the beginning of the year in the proceedings of the workshop.

On the last day of the workshop, all participants were invited to visit DEKAMER, the sea turtle research, rescue and rehabilitation centre located in Dalyan-Muğla, about an hour away. This visit was the opportunity to discover the fantastic work done by Dr. Yakup Kaska and his team that admitted and cared for 266 stranded turtles from 2008 to 2018.

The 2019 experience sharing workshop was preceded, as usual, by the General Assembly of the MedPAN association, this year in its 12th edition.