1983–2013: Development of marine protected areas along the French Mediterranean coasts and perspectives for achievement of the Aichi target
In 1983, Meinesz et al. provided an exhaustive survey of the number, surface area and status of the 17 marine areas protected by the banning of at least one type of fishing then in existence along the whole of the 2057 km French Mediterranean coastline. In 2013, there were 20 MPAs of this kind. Between 1983 and 2013, the overall surface area protected by the banning of at least one type of fishing increased by 18%, and no take areas by 28%. But the situation has remained virtually unchanged within the 0 to −50 m zone. In this depth range, the total surface area with MPA status in 2013 only represented 3% of the total area and no take areas only 1%. The MPAs in the zone with the richest biodiversity and the most affected by all types of fishing (0 to −20 m zone) only covered 3.1% of the total area in 2013, a drop of 9% over the past 30 years. Similarly, no take areas represented less than 1% of the total area between 0 and −20 m. In 2013, intensified special surveillance is in operation for 71% of the total surface area of the MPAs (42% for the no take areas). Overall, these descriptive criteria show that the situation falls far short of the Aichi target (target no. 11 of the ten-year framework for action by all countries to save biodiversity presented at Aichi (Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020): “By 2020, at least 10% of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, must be conserved through effectively and equitably managed./.systems” http://www.cbd.int/sp/targets/) and that a major effort is required in order to better protect the zone that is the primary target of a wide range of human activities: the 0/−20 m littoral zone.