Presented during the 2018 MedPAN experience sharing-workshop.
The Spanish Mediterranean harbors 21 marine reserves (MR), 17 of which with no-take areas, that have been designated under a variety of national and regional laws. The first was established in 1980 and the newest in 2016. The marine area covered by MRs is 993 km2 of which 142 km2, 14% of the total, is no-take. The fraction of the surface of the Spanish Mediterranean continental shelf that is protected in MRs at less than 100m is 2.3%, and the fraction protected in no-take areas is 0.3%.
The Columbretes Islands MR, designated in 1990, covers 55 km2 and has a variety of highly restrictive regulations that renders the entire MR de facto no-take. It harbors rock and coralligenous habitats and contiguous fishing grounds from 60 m to 100 m. Of the Small Scale Fisheries operating outside the MR, that of the spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas) is the most common and well known, since traditional fishing grounds of the species are protected in the MR. Studies conducted during the last 20 years in the Columbretes MR have documented the concentration of the fishing effort around the boundaries and that the harvested spillover lobster, that offsets the loss of yield resulting from the reduction of fishing grounds in the MR, produce a mean annual net benefit of 10% of the catch in weight.
Contact: Raquel Goñi, Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Spain (please contact MedPAN secretariat for details)