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Protecting our ocean: Europe's challenges to meet the 2020 deadlines

This report evaluates the effectiveness of the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Europe. In the final year before the 2020 deadline of the Aichi Target, this study indicates that the most critical elements of the European MPAs are not effective and are failing the contintent's marine biodiversity. Today, only 1.8% of the European Union's seas are MPAs with management plans, although 12,4% of these waters are designated for protection. Moreover, only part of this 1,8% is managed and monitored effectively. 

Evaluating fisheries systems: A comprehensive analytical framework and its application to the EU's Common Fisheries Policy

To identify the priorities for future reforms of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the authors of this article developed an analytical framework. This framework consists of 17 criteria and indicators, which were applied to the CFP governance system, including its institutions, regulations and processes. Significantly, the results show that not one of the 17 criteria is sufficiently met for an effective resource policy.

Study on the economic benefits of marine protected areas

This report is one of the products of a project reviewing the economic benefits of MPAs, which is initiated by the European Commission and carried out by ICF, IEEP and PML. This study, task five of the larger project, gathered information from ten MPA case studies through qualitative research including stakeholder interviews and field visits. The ten case studies investigated the economic benefits of MPAs to evalaluate findings resulting from the project's previous research tasks and to collect lessons learned based on situations from different MPAs in European waters. 

Marine reserves: size and age do matter

Using 58 datasets from 19 European marine reserves, we show that reserve size and age do matter: Increasing the size of the no-take zone increases the density of commercial fishes within the reserve compared with outside; whereas the size of the buffer zone has the opposite effect. Moreover, positive effects of marine reserve on commercial fish species and species richness are linked to the time elapsed since the establishment of the protection scheme.

Marine messages: our seas, our future - moving towards a new understanding

Many of Europe’s marine species, habitats and ecosystems have been threatened for decades. As maritime economic activities are predicted to increase in coming years, a new briefing from the European Environment Agency (EEA) argues that the cumulative impact of human activity should be better managed to avoid irreversible damage to ecosystems.