We need more MPAs in the Mediterranean. Sign the petition!

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a colossal fin whale plunging deep into the Mediterranean's azure depths. It lunges toward a school of krill, gulping down soupy, bus-sized mouthfuls. Another hunt takes place above water, as local, artisanal fishermen haul in sardines with special gear that eliminates accidental bycatch.

They are not the only ones to enjoy the Med's bounty. Divers and tourists marvel at large groupers hiding behind rocks; red corals framed like underwater paintings; meter-tall pen shells dotting lush green meadows of posidonia. Each benefits without depleting the sea's resources. Man and nature, working together.

This is what life in the Med could be. Marine Protected Areas can help us get there.

MARINE PROTECTED AREAS (MPA) are slices of ocean and coastline set aside because of their ecological importance. They safeguard the Mediterranean's amazing marine life, protect fishermen's livelihoods, boost local economies and let tourists discover one of our planet's most stunning treasures.

MPAs and man are interconnected in ways that empower us both.


A factsheet to show the guiding principles for successful MPAs and their benefits.
Marine Protected Areas cover 4% of the Mediterranean Sea. It is not enough, we need to reach 10% by ... / ©: MedPAN
Marine Protected Areas cover 4% of the Mediterranean Sea. It is not enough, we need to reach 10% by 2020.
© MedPAN

Our Mediterranean is a bioversity hot spot

amounting to less than 4% of our planet's water surface, yet home to a stunning 10% of its species.  The Med's residents include the loggerhead turtle, the fin whale and the native seagrass Posidonia oceanica, which plays a crucial role in ocean life.

Under Threat

Today, the Mediterranean is under attack from multiple fronts, ranging from overfishing and coastal development to pollution, sea traffic and climate change. Some of its plant and animal species are among the most threatened in the world.

MPAs are a solution for our overexploited Mediterraean Sea.

Expanding Marine Protected Areas

Mediterranean nations have agreed to protect 10 percent of the Mediterranean by 2020. But they have a long way to go. Today, less than 4% of the Med is protected. And many existing MPAs are poorly managed.

We need more and better managed MPAs in the Mediterranean.
Sign the petition to show our leaders you care for our sea.

It's all about networking

WWF is working with partners to establish a broad network of well-managed Mediterranean MPAs.

MPAs need everybody's buy-in...

fishermen, tourists, businesses, scientists, politicians…and YOU. This is our Mediterreanean.

If we want to protect it for our children, we need to take action now. 
  • Find out more about MPAs in these pages
  • Sign the petition to help our Mediterranean

Marine Protected Areas provide benefits to our society

A day in Scandola

The natural reserve of Scandola in the French Island of Corsica is a model for MPAs around the Med. / ©: Scandola Natural Reserve
Aboard a small motorboat on a sparkling afternoon, we crane our necks to take in the soaring, rose-colored cliffs and scan for ospreys that have made a comeback in this slice of northwestern Corsica, off the coast of France. Our tour guide tells us about the universe below our boat: the spiderwebs of red coral…the schools of fish — including the rare grouper — darting beneath the rocks.

Welcome to Scandola Nature Reserve, one of a growing network of Marine Protected Areas spanning the Mediterranean. Scandola is recharging Corsica's marine habitat and the local economy that depends on fishing and tourism. Today, Scandola serves as a model for MPAs around the Mediterranean.

Did you know?

  • "Mediterreanean" comes from the Latin "mare medi terra"…or the sea in the middle of the land
  •  It takes 80 full years for the Med's waters to regenerate and clean out the tons of plastic, untreated sewage, oil and agricultural chemicals that are dumped into sea every day
  • 18,000 species of plants and animals live in the Med. Almost a third exist nowhere else on earth
  • One-third of the world's merchant shipping is concentrated in the Med, with up to 300 tankers crossing its waters daily