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Maritime Forum

Map of the Week – Coralligenous Habitats

The Map of the Week shows modelled spatial distributions of coralligenous outcrops and mäerl beds across the Mediterranean Sea. These bioconstructions are typical Mediterranean underwater seascapes, comprising coralline algal frameworks that grow in...

At the beginning of July, the Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) released the first draft of a new global biodiversity framework, to guide actions worldwide through 2030, to preserve and protect nature and its essential services to people. It comprises 21 targets and 10 ‘milestones’ proposed for 2030. The draft framework will undergo further refinement before being presented for consideration at the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-15) in Kunming, China. [1] Biodiversity is fundamental to human well-being and a healthy planet. However, biodiversity is deteriorating worldwide and this decline is projected to continue or worsen under business-as-usual scenarios. [2] The post-2020 global biodiversity framework aims to address this.

Preventing, halting and reversing the degradation of ecosystems worldwide is one of the key elements to preserving biodiversity and is the objective of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration which was launched earlier this year.

The coralligenous habitats, found at a sea depth of 70-250 meters, are some of the most complex and rich marine ecosystems in the Mediterranean.[3] Because of their extent, biodiversity and production, coralligenous and mäerl habitats rank among the most important ecosystems in the Mediterranean Sea, and they are considered of great significance both for fisheries and natural carbon sequestration. The Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation, the United Nations Regional Action Center for the Mediterranean and the Department of Biology of the University of Essex in England have therefore joined forces, with the support of the French endowment fund Pure Ocean, under the project “Protecting Aegean Coralligene”, to carry out research on the Coralligenous Habitats in the Aegean, work on their conservation and raise awareness about these habitats. [3]

Dive into the Map of the Week to learn about modelled spatial distributions of coralligenous outcrops and mäerl beds across the Mediterranean Sea.

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The data in this map are provided by EMODnet.