Mediterranean Submarine Canyons

Workshops focusing on governance of the Mediterranean held in Tunis (2007), Rabat (2008), Nice (2009), Istanbul and Procida (2010) and Monaco (2011) have enabled the IUCN to formulate recommendations to Mediterranean countries whereby they apply a precautionary principle to canyons situated in waters under their jurisdiction and incorporate the issues which are at stake and priorities for the protection and management of submarine canyons into national, regional and international strategies for marine protected areas.

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These recommendations are based on the unique and vulnerable character of these canyons which play a specific role in the Mediterranean ecosystem. These Mediterranean canyons are, in fact, structural elements in the ecosystemic functioning of both the Western and Eastern basins, and in particular the three subensembles of the canyons in the Gulf of Lion, the Alboran Sea and Aegean-Levantine Sea.

This publication was undertaken in follow-up to the conclusions drawn by the IUCN’s Group of Experts on Governance of the Mediterranean, and is thus a result of the framework agreement between France and IUCN. 


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