Spatial Management of Fisheries in the Mediterranean Sea: Problematic Issues and a Few Success Stories
Fishing has been important in the Mediterranean region for many centuries and still has a central role in its economic importance and cultural heritage. A multitude of fishery-oriented marine managed areas have been implemented under a highly complex political and legislative framework to protect fishery resources and sensitive habitats from high impact uses. However, a review of the literature revealed that few data are available to support their effectiveness, except for a few studies on fishery reserves and marine reserves. In these cases, fish biomass has increased and some evidence of ecological and socioeconomic benefits has been documented. The environmental and geopolitical complexity of the Mediterranean region as well as the dominant top-down management approaches, constitute the weakest points in the spatial management of fisheries at regional level. A coordinating role of all national and supranational bodies present in the area is desirable in the near future.