CoCoNet Press Release 30

CoCoNet Press Release September 2014

A COURSE ON GOOD ENVIRONMENTAL STATUS AND MARINE PROTECTED AREAS (MPAs): A GREAT PROGRESS AND INVESTMENT FOR THE FUTURE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN AND BLACK SEA REGION


CoCoNet (http://www.coconet-fp7.eu/) Summer School 2014 for PhD students and young researchers was on "the Good Environmental Status and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Mediterranean and Black Seas", held in Rabat, Morocco, 8-13 September, 2014. It was organized by L'Institut Scientifique, Universite Mohammed V Rabat.

Forty participants from 14 countries (Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Montenegro, Morocco, Romania, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine) participated in the lively discussions that followed presentations focused on the Descriptors of 'Good Environmental

Status' as mandated by the EU 'Marine Strategy'.

The opening session was chaired by Prof Rajaâ Cherkaoui, vice-President of the University Mohamed V, who emphasized the role of research in the socio-economic development and the protection of nature in order to have a clean and respectable environment. She also referred to the various national and international programs carried out by researchers from the University Mohammed V in the last decade.

The 'status of Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas' was presented by Chloë Webster, 'Connectivity in the marine world and in the context of MPAs' by Serge Planes, 'Pristine vs. non-pristine areas in the Mediterranean' by Enrique Macpherson, 'Temperature rises in the Mediterranean Sea its impacts' by Simonetta Fraschetti, and 'A review of the experience on the impacts of energy from sea (offshore wind, wave, current) on the marine and coastal environment' by Takvor Soukissian. Some other presentations were made by European experts in those fields. They were followed by a full day workshop on 'habitat mapping'.

The lecturers presented and discussed how to educate scientists, ocean users, NGOs and policy makers to consider the eleven descriptors defined by DG Environment of the European Commission on the 'Good Environmental Status 'marine waters of the EU (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/marine/good-environmental-status/index_en.htm). CoCoNet aims to facilitate more effective MPA networks to achieve Good Environmental Status, while keeping in mind the contribution of clean energy production through offshore wind farms.

 

Summer school Rabat photo 1

 

 

A COURSE ON GOOD ENVIRONMENTAL STATUS AND MARINE PROTECTED AREAS (MPAs): A GREAT PROGRESS AND INVESTMENT FOR THE FUTURE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN AND BLACK SEA REGION

CoCoNet Press Release 29

CoCoNet Press Release August 2014

OFFSHORE WIND FARMS - BAD OR GOOD?

The CoCoNet project http://www.coconet-fp7.eu/ is preparing guidelines for the establishment of MPA (Marine Protected Area) networks in the Mediterranean and Black Seas based on connectivity among different areas. A detailed wind 'atlas' of both basins is also being developed to test the feasibility of establishing offshore wind farms (OWFs) in these regions. The consortium involves 39 institutes and small and medium-sized enterprises from 22 countries, covering a wide geographical range. MPAs, to work efficiently, are to be networked; therefore, project partners are identifying a set of locations that are connected with each other, sharing common ecosystem features.

The aim is to identify the physical and biological processes and connections that govern patterns of biodiversity distribution. The resulting habitat protection and good management will enhance policies for fisheries and other human activities related to good environmental status.

OWFs represent a significant potential for the production of clean energy. They also enhance marine biodiversity by introducing submerged structures on which bottom-dwelling organisms can settle and, in turn, attract fish populations, while discouraging trawling on the sea bottom.

Two pilot projects have already been set up for the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea. These projects are intended to be the areas where concepts developed by CoCoNet can be applied in the real world. Activities in the pilot projects to date include the use of oceanographic vessels for open and deep sea operations, with smaller craft for coastal studies.

CoCoNet will help to conserve Europe's natural heritage by protecting vulnerable marine ecosystems and the plant and animal species they contain. In addition, it will encourage new populations to develop and help combat global warming by promoting clean energy through the building of OWFs.

There is no OWF in the Mediterranean and in the Black Sea yet, so we are trying to hypothesize its impacts on the marine ecosystem. The main problem with OWF in these basins is that the tourist industry does not like to have installations near the coast, due to visual pollution.... the socio-economic side is somehow negative. If they are constructed in more offshore areas, the problem is less acute.

In conclusion, the CoCoNet team are working hard not to invent new things for OWF but to calculate capacity and sustaibability of OWF for the next generation. We know that the coordination for integrated MPA/OWF network is essential and concerted actions are needed for the sustainable use of our beautiful seas.

 

Igneada (Tuekey) of the Black Sea

Black-Sea-Igneada

CoCoNet Press Release 28

CoCoNet Press Release July 2014


TOURISM AND MARINE PROTECTED AREAS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA

 

Sustainable management of tourism in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is one of the core issues in the Mediterranean Sea. This sea is attractive for millions of people from all over the world every year. It is well known, however, that blue crystal water of this sea is suffering from mass tourism for the last few decades.

There is no accurate information on the carrying capacity of the Mediterranean Sea for tourism. In summer season, long coasts of sandy beaches, lagoons, rocky cliffs, even caves are full of tourists. All of us cause some kind of harm to nature due to various types of activities, such as polluting water, littering coasts, anchoring on sea grass meadows. But can we continue like this forever? Surely not. We need planning and good management. We also need to develop more eco-friendly tourism.

What’s the situation of managing tourism in MPAs? Do we have special planning for that? How do MPA managers plan to reduce damage made by tourists during their visit to MPAs? How do they control core areas or buffer zones? Do they manage eco-friendly diving with special mooring system? Is monitoring of alien species or marine biodiversity a high priority or just a routine job by park rangers?

There are over 600 protected sites along the Mediterranean coast, but there is no common, integrated and unified enforcement of the tourism management by riparian countries. In fact, regional cooperation is essential without political borders to manage natural resources.

Ecotourism is growing in most part of the Mediterranean Sea since people are more conscious of environmental problems worldwide. For the moment, the Black Sea is not yet popular in this regard due to a very short tourism season and lack of regional infrastructure to attract many tourists.

Nevertheless, the concept of ecotourism agrees well with MPAs and this business has a future with many aspects in terms of job creation, creating less pollution, and education for general public, in particular young generations.

So let’s hope this summer season will be less harmful for marine natural resources and environment with more nature conscious tourists in the Mediterranean Sea.

The aim of CoCoNet is to connect and protect blue crystal waters of MPAs in the entire Mediterranean and Black Sea.



CoCoNet Press Release 27

CoCoNet Press Release June 2014

A NEW JELLYFISH SPECIES IN THE GULF OF VENICE DISCOVERED BY COCONET TEAM!


The CoCoNet partner scientists in Italy have discovered a new species of jellyfish in the Gulf of Venice. This medusa is an alien (not native) species to the Mediterranean Sea. (See the original article in Zootaxa at http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3794.3.7)

Sightings of this beautiful yellow jellyfish in the North Adriatic Sea in last autumn were reported through a citizen science initiative, said Prof. Ferdinando Boero, the coordinator of the CoCoNet project. The team decided its name as Pelagia benovici, after a late Croatian colleague, Prof. Adam Benovic, based on both morphological and genetic analyses.

They found that it is similar to Pelagia noctiluca, a mauve jellyfish known for its venomous stings, which wiped out a 100,000-strong salmon farm in Northern Ireland in 2007. Could this new species pose the same kind of threat? "We really don't know because there have not been many investigations besides what it is. What it does is a completely different story," said Boero. More investigations are needed to understand its ecology and life history, as well as possible impacts on native ecosystem and human activities.

Quite how Pelagia benovici got to the North Adriatic and settled within the Venice lagoon remains a mystery. Experts think it was probably introduced to the area in the ballast water of ships. In the 1980s, Mnemiopsis leidyi, a kind of comb jellyfish known as the sea walnut, was introduced into the Black Sea via the ballast water of ships from the North Atlantic. Its bloom caused a dramatic decline in the local fish populations in the late 1980's resulting in millions of dollars loss for the fishing community.

Another important aspect of this finding is the contribution of citizen science. General public can have a significant role by participating such a project. Experts encourage public to report any strange jellyfish seen while they are at sea. See the poster below for jellyfish identification. They should also be careful in case those beautiful creatures are stingy!


 

 

http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3794.3.7


CoCoNet Press Release 26

CoCoNet Press Release

May 2014

MARINE PROTECTED AREAS AND SMALL SCALE FISHING CAN COEXIST IN THE BLACK AND MED SEAS

 

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are expanding fast and their establishment is motivated by high-level policy commitments. One of the predominant challenges in marine conservation is to sustain the benefits of fisheries in the face of rapidly changing environment.

Small-scale fisheries traditionally represent an important share of the fisheries sector in the Mediterranean and Black Sea and their considerable role is known for many years. They have the potential to contribute significantly to food security, economic growth and rural development and to provide valuable employment opportunities. Small-scale fisheries are strongly linked in local communities, reflecting often historic links with traditions, culture and values. However, there is little information at the regional level on their production and socio-economic dimension, on their contribution to sustainable development and to the preservation of marine ecosystems. Despite their socio-economic importance, small-scale fisheries face today many challenges.

Fishers feel often exclusion from public policy processes and decision-making, overexploitation of stocks, sometimes competition for space and resources with industrial fisheries, mostly purse seiners and trawlers, and other coastal activities. Scarcity of data on fishing effort and catches, lowcapacity in data collection and in monitoring, control and surveillance and management of the sector represent the most important difficulties.

Small-scale fisheries are generally characterized by the use of a large number of boats of low tonnage, extremely diversified and selective low-impact fishing gear targeting a wide variety of species.The management objectives of MPAs and of small-scale fisheries are common in many aspects. Small scale-fisheries and protected areas can coexist and be integrated in a sustainable way, creating synergies and opportunities. There are a number of examples in the world that the establishment of MPAs has brought positive effects on the fish stocks in the coastal areas, thus, on the small-scale fisheries as well.

What can we do to promote the coexistence of small-scale fisheries and MPAs? We can support the diversification of small-scale fisheries activities,  flagship the sustainability of small-scale fisheries practices and the quality of products, encourage the protection of the coastal zones as priority areas for small-scale fisheries, implement measures to limit and monitor the growing fishing effort, improve planning and decision-making mechanisms aimed at fisheries and MPAs and ensure the representation of small-scale fishers in MPAs governance processes. MPA managers also should take it into consideration to improve communication with fishermen and scientists, as well as to identifly groups of stakeholders of the small-scale fisheries sector to guaranty their active participation in MPA management.

The CoCoNet project aims to elaborate such guidelines and tools to enhance cooperation between all stakeholders, particularly small-scale fishers, scientists, and authorities in MPA management, before and after the designation of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

The on-going Pilot Projects in the Adriatic Sea and Black Sea will soon provide the framework for such guidelines to be used for the coexistence of small-scale fisheries and MPAs in the coastal areas of these seas.

 

 

 

CoCoNET Press Release 25

COCONET PRESS RELEASE

APRIL 2014

Biotic Impacts of Offshore Wind Farms (OWF)

Scientists from across Europe gathered in King's Lynn, UK, to discuss protecting the rarest and most vulnerable marine life and migrating birds from the impacts of offshore wind farms in the UK, Mediterranean and Black Sea on 28-29 April 2014.

The workshop was held as part of the European Union (EU) funded "Towards Coast to Coast Networks of Marine Protected Areas Coupled with Sea-based Wind Energy Potential (CoCoNet)". Its aim is to establish networks of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to ensure more effective protection of biodiversity in the Mediterranean and Black Sea as well as to identify suitable locations for offshore wind farms (OWFs) to promote the production of renewable energy.

With the UK leading the world in offshore renewable energy, the workshop participants learnt from UK industry experts in the trials, challenges and progress relating to offshore wind farms, particularly concerning benthic ecology, ornithology, fisheries and marine mammals. Offshore wind farms, even in the UK, are still a relatively new industry and the full impact on wildlife is not known but it is rapidly advancing. By applying what we have learnt in the UK, we can establish the best locations for potential arrays in other European seas.

CCIMG 2214The EU already has an ambitious climate and energy target, known as the '20-20-20 target', whereby we aim to reduce carbon emissions by 20%, produce 20% of energy from renewables and improve energy efficiency by 20%, all by the year 2020. However, the latest IPCC report (IPCC 5th Assessment Report, March 2014) states that climate change is now a very real threat, and if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we need to further reduce our dependency on coal and oil and at least treble our production of energy from clean, renewable energies. Therefore, the need to construct offshore wind farms has never been so urgent. The benefits of offshore wind farms are numerous; with the stronger and more frequent winds offshore than onshore, they generate more power per turbine than their onshore counterparts. The visual impacts are also reduced the further out to sea the turbines are located, and there is less congestion on land in the construction phase with most transport being carried out at sea. Therefore, despite their high cost to construct, EU countries are keen to invest.

The participants of the workshop also visited the Lincs Offshore Wind farm 8km off east of England. For many, this was the first up close experience of an offshore wind farm. Rather than the eyesore that many people associate with such arrays, the Lincs was an impressive sight, symbolising progress in technology to allow us to harness nature and the clean power that it can provide. The 129 turbines generate nearly 470MW of energy per year, that's enough power for over 330,000 homes in the UK.

Please visit our website for more details of the workshop and offshore wind farms.

www.coconet-fp7.eu

IMG 2211

CoCoNET Press Release 24

 

COCONET PRESS RELEASE

MARCH 2014

Wind Information for Offshore Wind Farm in the Mediterranean Sea

Securing environmentally-friendly energy is one of the most important issues in today's world. Offshore wind farms (OWF) have high potential to provide such energy, thus they have been widely developed in the northern European seas. In the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, however, there is no OWF so far. The CoCoNet project aims to develop strategies to establish such OWF in these seas while taking into consideration of networking marine protected areas at the same time.

The long-term analysis of winds for extended areas as the Mediterranean Sea has many difficulties. The CoCoNet team has been, however, currently challenging this task, analyzing wind data for the period 1979-2011.

There are some important wind systems in the Mediterranean Sea, namely the Bora, Mistral and Etesians. Bora is a north-easterly wind blowing from the Dinaric Alps towards the Adriatic Sea during winter. Mistral is a local wind in France with north north-western direction. It blows from the Rhone Valley to the Gulf of Lions with no clear seasonality. Etesians are local seasonal winds in the Aegean Sea, blowing from north during May to October, especially from June to August.

In general, the windiest areas of the Mediterranean Sea are the Gulf of Lions, the Aegean Sea (extending from the Canakkale Strait to Crete Island) and the straits between Sicily, Sardinia, and northern Africa. The same areas exhibit the largest annual fluctuations.

Seasonally, the windiest month is December in the Mediterranean Sea, followed by February. The lowest wind intensities occur, in the mean, during August and then during September, June and July.

Regarding the long-term wind speed trend, the increasing trend appears in the central Mediterranean Sea and specifically in the area between the western coast of Greece and the eastern coasts of Italy and Sicily. Other areas of increasing trend are the straits between Corsica and Italy, the northern coasts of Algeria and the area between Crete Island and the Mediterranean coasts of Egypt. The areas with the decreasing trend are the eastern of the Gulf of Lions (offshore coasts of Monaco) and the central Aegean Sea.

It is evident that areas with high wind intensities and low variability are the most favorable for OWF development. The results of the wind data analysis made by CoCoNet will help such development in the future.

(Information provided by Takvor Soukissian, Evangelos Voukouvalas of HCMR)

 

Securing environmetally-friendly energy is one of the most importamt issues in today’s world. Offshore wind farms (OWF) have high potential to provide such energy, thus they have been widely developed in the northern Europeans seas. In the Miditerranean and the Black Sea, however, they here is no OWF so far. The CoCoNet project aims to develop strategies to establish such OWF in these seas while taking into consideration of networking marine protected areas at the same time.

The long-term analysis of winds for extended areas as the Mediterranean Sea has many difficulties. The CoCoNet team has been, however, currently challenging this task, analyzing wind data for the period 1979-2011.

There are some important wind systems in the Mediterranean Sea, namely the Bora, Mistral and Etesians. Bora is a north-easterly wind blowing from the Dinaric Alps towards the Adriatic Sea during winter. Mistral is a local wind in France with north north-western direction. It blows from the Rhone Valley to the Gulf of Lions with no clear seasonality. Etesians are local seasonal winds in the Aegean Sea, blowing from north during May to October, especially from June to August.  

In general, the windiest areas of the Mediterranean Sea are the Gulf of Lions, the Aegean Sea (extending from the Canakkale Strait to Crete Island) and the straits between Sicily, Sardinia, and northern Africa. The same areas exhibit the largest annual fluctuations.

 

Seasonally, the windiest month is December in the Mediterranean Sea, followed by February. The lowest wind intensities occur, in the mean, during August and then during September, June and July.

 

Regarding the long-term wind speed trend, the increasing trend appears in the central Mediterranean Sea and specifically in the area between the western coast of Greece and the eastern coasts of Italy and Sicily. Other areas of increasing trend are the straits between Corsica and Italy, the northern coasts of Algeria and the area between Crete Island and the Mediterranean coasts of Egypt. The areas with the decreasing trend are the eastern of the Gulf of Lions (offshore coasts of Monaco) and the central Aegean Sea.

 

It is evident that areas with high wind intensities and low variability are the most favorable for OWF development. The results of the wind data analysis made by CoCoNet will help such development in the future.

 (Information provided by Takvor Soukissian, Evangelos Voukouvalas of HCMR)

CoCoNET Press Release 23

COCONET PRESS RELEASE

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2014

The CoCoNet & Perseus Joint General Assembly

Two important and complementary European projects for the Mediterranean and Black Sea, CoCoNet and Perseus held Joint General Assembly in Athens on 27-30 January 2014. After very warm welcome by the Greek authorities, workshops and joint general assembly was realized. It was very useful and fruitful for both projects and future cooperation.

Over 200 scientists gathered and had a chance to discuss various topics during the general assembly as well as the dedicated workshops. Over 100 papers of the studies made within the framework of these two projects were presented and discussed.

Among the issues discussed during the workshop there was an issue on data policy in order to facilitate more effective data and metadata sharing between partners. Review of existing European protocols and standards was also deeply discussed. Another important topic was habitat mapping and biological sampling in the Pilot Project areas.

Focus workshops in 2014

The first workshop in 2014 was "Review and analysis of legislation relevant to the establishment and management of MPAs and OWFs", held in Perpignan, France, 15-16 January 2014. The objective was to compile the national legislations concerning MPAs in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, and to discuss the differences among the national legal frameworks and their incentives and disincentives for creating MPAs and OWFs. Participants investigated the state jurisdiction over marine areas, OWF development areas and national legislations relating to MPAs and OWFs.

The second workshop was on "Sensitivity of MPA networks to threats", held in Athens, Greece, 29–31 January 2014. Its aim was to collect empirical data of human activities at local and regional scales impacting on Mediterranean MPAs in order to 1) check the availability of human pressure indicators and data between different Mediterranean areas (i) at a fine-scale resolution and (ii) at a larger scale; 2) standardize common criteria to identify and compare the different indicators of human threats; 3) characterize qualitatively or semi-qualitatively the way in which the intensity of human threats is assessed; 4) compare the human footprint on MPAs deriving from local and regional pressures 5) relate the results with habitat distribution within each MPA.

Workshop on oil spills has attracted some interests during the above-mentioned general assembly. It was proposed to carry out training activities in oil spill modelling close to the CoCoNet Pilot Project areas in the Black Sea.

Black Sea Stakeholders Conference in Bucarest - New initiatives for the procetion of the Back Sea

Black Sea Stakeholders Conference -New initiatives for the procetion of the Back Sea- was held in Bucharest on 31 January 2014, which was organized by European Commission.

The Black Sea basin faces numerous challenges of marine and maritime nature. There is a need of an enhanced cooperation across all coastal states to ensure growth and sustainable development of the blue economy taking into account existing commitments for protection of the environment. The conference aimed to strengthen and encourage dialogue at the technical level in specific fields of maritime clusters, environmental protection, fisheries management and aquaculture.

CoCoNet posters and calendars were distributed and the presentation was given by Prof. Bayram Öztürk, Istanbul University, a work packege leader of CoCoNet, on the sustainable fisheries, protected areas and marine governance.

CoCoNET Press Release 22

 CoCoNET PRESS RELEASE

December, 2013

BARCELONA CONVENTION COP 18 MEETING in ISTANBUL

The Contracting Parties (COP) of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) for the Barcelona Convention, which is part of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), came together for their biennial meeting on December 3–6, 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey. The Mediterranean Action Plan enables the Mediterranean coastal states to work together on pollution, coastal management and biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea.

Due to human activities many species are under the threat of extinction now. Marine Protected Areas (MAPs) are recognized as an effective tool to fight this. Unfortunately up to now only 2% of the Mediterranean Sea is protected.

To emphasize the importance of Marine Protected Areas, the CoCoNet team set up a stand for disseminating information, organized a meeting with several stakehlders and distributed 2014 CoCoNet calendars to the attendants of the meeting. Besides, the posters and brochures of the CoCoNet project were distributed

As an outcome of the meeting, the Istanbul Declaration was elaborated, there it was stated that "the Ministers and Heads of Delegations of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention commit to develop a comprehensive, coherent network of well-managed coastal and marine protected areas in the Mediterranean by 2020 and thus extend to 10% the Mediterranean network of marine and coastal protected areas including deep seas whether within or beyond national jurisdiction". Further "International organizations, bilateral and multilateral donors, foundations and the private sector" are encouraged to "support the activities of the trust fund for Mediterranean marine protected areas".

PL-201312-03

Other important issues of the Meeting were;

- the Ecosystem Approach (EcAp) to human activities,

- the assessment of Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs) in collaboration with the the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD),

- the implementation of the Marine Litter Regional Plan,

- to enforce the the amendments concerning Special Protected Areas and Biological Biodiversity in the Mediterranean in cooperation with all relevant actors, in particular GFCM and IUCN,

- the prevention of pollution from offshore and shipping based activities,

- the implementation of the Action Plan on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) regarding especially the development of plans that protect coastal populations against the adverse affects of climate change,

- and the shift towards Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP),

- to encourage further cooperation and synergies with the Horizon 2020 initiative,

- the establishment of the "Environment Friendly City" award until the next meeting.


THE BLACK SEA PILOT PROJECT at TARKHANKUT PENINSULA, CRIMEA

Macro algae such as Cystoseira and Phyllophora provide important habitats for small organisms, as sheltering, feeding and breeding areas. The distribution of Cystoseira spp. and Phyllophora crispa habitats in the sublittoral zone along the Dzhangul landslide coast, the northern part of the Tarkhankut has been studied as a pilot project of CoCoNet by the Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas; Odessa Branch - National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The community structure and geomorphological features at a depth of 0-20 m had been investigated along 13 transects using SCUBA. The general parameters of bottom vegetation (biomass, density and size/mass structure of the dominant macroalgae) were studied, too. As a preliminary result, the existence of one of the small Phyllophora crispa fields, unattached and attached forms was confirmed on rocky substrate at a depth 15–20 m in the north of the Evpatoriysky Cape. For almost 50 years no survey had been undertaken in this area. Our investigation of the bottom vegetation at the western part of Crimean coastal zone and the Phyllophora phytocoenosis at the western part of Crimean coastal zone was the first one in half a century.

 Cystoseira sp.


CoCoNET Press Release 21

 CoCoNET PRESS RELEASE

November, 2013

CoCoNet for Kids

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are regions of the seas where habitats are protected by limiting and controlling human activities. CoCoNet is a unique large project for networking such MPAs which includes both the Black and Mediterranean Seas. Now, the CoCoNet Project is initiating new educational acitivites called "CoCoNet Kids". With CoCoNet kids, childrencan search and understand MPAs more easily On CoCoNet website ( www.coconet-fp7.eu), there is a banner for kids. By clicking this banner, children can reach CoCoNet Kids microsite (http://coconet-fp7.eu/children/index.html).

There are eight sections on this site; 'home page', 'marine protected areas', 'off-shore wind farms', 'Coconet brochures and posters downloads', 'game and acitivites', 'teacher's zone' , 'gallery' and 'about'. The first section is for Marine Protected Areas, with examples from Georgia, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Romania, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Ukraine. In offshore wind farm (OWF) section, there is a short history of wind farms all around the the world. Downloads section include brochures and posters of CoCoNet and its related subects, such as off-shore wind farm and biodiversity. Children can download these cololurful and informative materials easily.

In Coconet Kids website, there is another interesting section called games and activities. In this section, there are two interactive games; the BIODIVERTER (about marine biodiversity) and COCONET (about MPAs and OWF). Also in the activity section, there are puzzles, word search puzzle, role play and arts/crafts.

To learn more details about marine biodiveristy, MPAs, etc, you can search in teacher's zone. Gallery section has many photos and videos of underwater flora and fauna of the Black Sea and Mediterranean. Country representatives and their contact information are shown in 'about' section in case children want to ask a question about CoCoNet and MPAs.

With CoCoNet Kids web site, scientists expect children to learn with fun the importance of biodiversity in the Mediterannean and Black Sea as well as MPAs and renewable energy sources like OWF.

 

coconet-children


CoCoNET Press Release 20

 CoCoNET PRESS RELEASE

October, 2013

CoCoNet project from Marseille to Constanta

 World Congress on Marine Protected Areas

The 3rd International Marine Protected Areas Congress was held in Marseille and Corsica, France, on Oct. 21-25. World's marine-protection specialists gather every four years to discuss the conservation and sustainable development of the oceans. About 1500 participants from 87 countries emphasized the Aichi targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in particular Target 11 which calls for the protection of at least 10 percent of the oceans by 2020. The congress focused on the creation of a trust fund for the Mediterannean.

Ministers, representatives of all the world’s main regions, also met at Ajaccio, Corsica Island, on 26 October 2013. They emphasized that the protection and the health of the oceans is essential for maintaining life throughout the world. The highly protected marine reserves play a crucial role in maintaining marine biodiversity and the future of mankind.

Besides, protection and establishment of the high sea MPA’s which represent nearly 60 % of the oceans and the blue heart that supports life on earth is also diccused during the Congress. Urgently entering negotiations to reach and implement the agreement of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was another novelty for the congress and MPA’s globally. This agreement can provide for the creation of high seas MPAs with an international status. CoCoNet is the only project that considers the networking of the MPA’s both in the high seas and coastal areas, as well as in the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea.

During the congress, the main concern was that less than 3% of the oceans is currently protected. This percentage should be increased to meet the Aichi Traget 11, to establish by 2020 a network of comprehensive and coherent protected marine areas effectively managed and covering at least 10% of the oceans.

CIESM Congress

Another imprortant event in Marseille was the 40th Mediterranean Science Commission Congress, from 28 October to 1 November. There were several MPAs-related issues discussed, such as connectivity, larval dispersion, pollution and depletion of the fish stocks. During that occasion Coconet executive Board Meeting also held with all PW leaders . Coconet team has found sincere discussion for the success of the project there, Black Sea Day 2013 in Constanta, Romania.

At the Celebration of the International Black Sea Day on 31 October with the International Symposium “Protection and Sustainable Management of the Black Sea” jointly organized by the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution (Black Sea Commission), Ministry of Environment and Climate Changes of Romania and National Institute for Marine Research and Development “Grigore Antipa” (NIMRD) Romania. Prof. Levent Bat from Sinop University delivered a presentation for the CoCoNet activities in the Black Sea. He gave the information on the progress of the Black Sea Pilot Project, which helps one of the targets of the CoCoNet to identify appropriate areas for MPAs within the Black Sea.

CoCoNET Press Release 19

 CoCoNET PRESS RELEASE

September, 2013

CoCoNET GIS and Marxan Summer Course

Constanta, Romania, 9-15 September 2013

 

Under the auspices of the EU-FP7 CoCoNET Project - Towards COast to COast NETworks of marine protected areas (from the shore to the high and deep sea), coupled with sea-based wind energy potential, the National Institute for Marine Research and Development "Grigore Antipa" (NIMRD), Constanta, will host an intensive summer course on GIS and Marxan training. It will be held at the Institute from 9 to 15 September 2013. The course is organized by ISMAR CNR (Institute of Marine Science - National Research Council), Bologna, Italy.

CoCoNet is a European FP-7 Project, comprising 39 research institutes from 22 countries. The Project brings together experts in a wide array of scientific disciplines, integrating the Mediterranean and Black Seas scientific communities through intense cooperative research and training. The project aims are to identify interconnected Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Mediterranean and the Black Seas, shifting focus from local (single MPA) to regional (Networks of MPAs) and basin wide (network of networks) scales, inclusive of off shore and deep sea habitats; identify areas for possible construction of Offshore Wind Farms; produce guidelines to design, manage and monitor a network of MPAs, and prepare a detailed wind atlas for the Mediterranean and the Black Seas. Two pilot project (one each in the Mediterranean and Black Seas) are underway.

GIS represents a powerful tool to manage analyse and integrate huge amounts of spatial data coming from different scientific fields. The GIS course aims at providing tools ad capabilities to manage and analyse GIS data in the framework of CoCoNET projects to support partners in fulfilling their goals.

Marxan is a software program used to support the design of marine and terrestrial reserves worldwide able to handle the complexity of the data that will be produced from COCONET activities. This course will represent an excellent opportunity to understand how we can identify an efficient system of conservation sites that include a suite of conservation targets at a minimal cost, which are the gaps of knowledge we have to face in order to produce an effective regional spatial conservation prioritization, and the challenge to incorporate both ecological (e.g. connectivity) and socio-economical data within a heavily exploited region like the Mediterranean sea.

The CoCoNET GIS and Marxan Summer course provides CoCoNET Ph.D students and junior marine scientists dedicated to spatial data collection and analysis in different disciplines (geology, biology, oceanograpy) with up to date tools and skills. The instructors for GIS (9-12 September) are Federica Foglini (CNR-ISMAR, Bologna, Italy), Devrim Tezcan (IMS METU - Turcia) and Oleksandr Neprokin (UkrSCES, Ukraine), for Marxan (13-15 September) Norma Serra and Trevor Wiens (PacMARA).

The official opening of the CoCoNET GIS and Marxan Summer Course will take place on Monday, 9 September 2013, at the headquarters of the National Insitute for Marine Research and Development "Grigore Antipa" (300 Mamaia Blvd., Constanta, Romania), at 9:00 a.m.

Pls Contact for further information :

 

PhD Student Dragos Micu: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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CoCoNET Press Release 18

 CoCoNET PRESS RELEASE
August, 2013 
 WILL PHYLLOPHORA FIELDS SURVIVE IN THE BLACK SEA….?


 The Black Sea is one of the anoxic basins on the planet and its water renewal and exchange is only possible through the narrow Istanbul Strait from the Mediterranean Sea. This unique case makes it more vulnerable in terms of marine biodiversity and ecosystem. Besides, the Black Sea faces several problems, such as overfishing, IUU (illegal, unregulated and unreported) fishing, ship-originated pollution like oil spills and bilge water, intentional and unintentional introduction of alien species by various vectors, eutrophication, marine litter, habitat destruction and modification, as well as climate change. One of solutions for the recovery of healthy ecosystem is to designate Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in certain areas of ecologically or biologically significance in the Black Sea. In the 2nd Joint Pilot Projects Meeting of the EC FP7 project “CoCoNet” held in Odessa, 29-30 July 2013, the scientists from two Pilot Projects (Eastern Black Sea and the Southern Adriatic Sea) presented research results about potential changes in riverine hydrology, coastal vulnerability to impacts of sea level rise and storms, effects of potential changes in maritime traffic, oil spill, effect of invasive species, fishery activities and the protection of the ecosystem. They also shared and discussed information about SWOT analysis of aquaculture and potential of offshore wind farms, multiscale geological, biological and oceanographic mapping in different habitats like in shallow and deep water areas in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. One of the main discussion topics was if Phyllophora beds will be protected or not.

Aggregations of red agarophyte algae of genus Phyllophora found in the North-Western part of the Black Sea (known as the Large and Small Phyllophora fields) are unique marine biocenoses – small ecological communities. The area of the Small Phyllophora field is known by its high diversity of flora and fauna. Both Small and Large Phyllophora fields are places of birth and development of many species of aquatic organisms. The Phyllophora Field once provided a habitat to 118 invertebrate species 47 fish species.

Most of these fish and invertebrate species enrich fauna of other areas of the Black Sea via dispersion. The biggest of these sites – the Large Phyllophora field (or "Zernov’s Phyllophora field”) - was declared by President of Ukraine the object of nature reserve fund of Ukraine in November 2008. This is the first offshore, fully marine protected area in the Black Sea. To protect the Black Sea for future generations, however, many more marine protected areas are needed.

 
 Click here to go to image source.

CoCoNET Press Release 17

COCONET PRESS RELEASE

July , 2013

2nd JOINT PROJECT MEETING OF THE EC 7FP PROJECT "COCONET" IN ODESSA / UKRAINE

 

Marine scientists from 22 countries over 3 continents (Africa, Asia and Europe) will meet in Odessa (Ukraine) next 29th and 30th July to discuss on the future strategies for the protection of the marine environment both Black and Mediterranean seas. The opportunity will be the 2nd Joint Pilot Projects Meeting of the EC 7FP project "CoCoNet", where the scientific hypothesis aiming at creating a network of Marine Protected Areas and evaluating the feasibility to develop clean energy sources such as Offshore Wind Farms will be tested. This important event is organised in cooperation with the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural institute in Ukraine.

The meeting will be held in the Odessa State Environmental University, will gather researchers from different scientific branches whose objective is the creation of common guidelines for the identification and the management of MPA's networks in the Mediterranean and the Black seas and to carry out feasibility studies on the OWF in both seas.

Environmental protection and sustainable exploitation of natural resources are the keywords of this scientific community that gathers 50 researchers from 39 institutes. They will have the opportunity to develop, through science, an overall view for the protection of the natural environment, who knows no borders or private interests. Once more the environmental sciences unite people. The Odessa meeting is a step further in this direction and coordinated by the Institute of Marine Sciences of the Italian National Research Council (CNR-ISMAR), under the scientific lead of Prof. Ferdinando Boero (University of Salento-CoNISMa, and associated to CNR-ISMAR), the CoCoNet project promotes the relationship among the scientific communities of the involved countries, strengthens the exchange of ideas, expertise and know-how that will promote the protection of both seas within Mediterranean and Black Seas basin.

As already known that , Mediterranean and Black Seas are suffers from the overfishing , alien species , climate change , various type of pollution such as oil spill and land base pollution . Marine Protected Areas (MPA's) is one of the major solution to mitigate this kind of problem in the entire basin. Overall aim of the project is to encourage and promote to designation of more Marine Protected Areas in Black and Mediterranean seas.

We invite you to this important meeting at the historical city of Odessa of the Ukraine .We believe international cooperation and concerted action to halt and mitigate ecological crises.

For further information pls:

Ebru Özyurt: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Daniela Palama: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bülent Topaloglu: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To download press release in UKRAINE, please click here.

CoCoNET Press Release 16

COCONET PRESS RELEASE

JUNE 2013

FIELD WORK HAS STARTED IN the MEDITERRANEAN AND the BLACK SEA ...

 

In the first 18 months of the CoCoNet Project, January 2012 – June 2013, the activities have been succssfully realized. "We had 11 workshops on several topics relevant to our aims, and a summer school on Meta-analysis. Currently, we are setting up the pilot projects, one in the Mediterranean Sea and another one in the Black Sea. The theoretical basis of the project has been updated through the workshops, and now we are passing to the field part of our work." The Coordinator of the Project, Prof. Ferdinando Boero, said lately at the interview for MedPAN.

The Pilot Projects in the Black and Mediterranean Seas have been started. Some of the field study titles of the Pilot Projects are;

  1. Collection of new geological, biological, oceanographic data in the Black and Mediterranean Seas pilot area relevant for MPAs implementation,
  2. Identification within the pilot areas key variables regarding connectivity (distance, size, strength and direction of currents, propagule supply) to be considered in the design of MPA network,
  3. Definition of what is specific to the Black and Mediterranean Seas and what can be generalised at larger scale within management plans in terms of connectivity processes.

All these information should be presented to decision makers and other stakeholders before designation of Marine Protected Areas.

Besides these, the CoCoNet facilitates other topics such as;

  1. Examination of the main natural and human driven causes of changes, potentially affecting the functioning and dynamics of the Pilot Area ecosystems and determine their implications for establishment of MPA networks,
  2. Evaluation of the impacts of offshore wind farm development on marine life near or within the pilot network of MPAs in the pilot area,
  3. Identification of socio-economic impacts caused by offshore wind farm development within the networks of MPAs.

We know very little about the actual biodiversity present in MPAs. Basic species invetory is not available for most MPAs. The distribution of habitats is not completely known. Our project will try to fill these gaps, at least from a conceptual point of view.

Habitat distributions in the Mediterranean and Black Seas are also examined. One of the key questions is where the most important habitats across the basin are found. Systematic analysis of the distribution of seagrasses, coralligenous formations, the brown algae Cystoseira as habitat formers across the two basins be will also studied.

In addition, a review has been completed of six existing and twelve proposed conservation initiatives, highlighting gaps in conservation and management planning, particularly within the southern and eastern regions of the Mediterranean and for offshore and deep sea habitats. The connections among MPAs will cover also open sea and deep sea, so as to identify vast areas based on intense connectivity. Our interest is more focused on habitats than on single species (usually fish) and the expected results will probably lead to novel findings for protecting these key habitats.


CoCoNET Press Release 14

COCONET PRESS RELEASE

APRIL 2013
 

COCONET- AN EXCITING PROJECT TO SAVE THE MEDITERRANEAN AND BLACK SEAS.

Coconet Project involves 39 institutions from 22 countries, covering a vast array of subjects, developing a timely holistic approach and integrating the Mediterranean and Black Sea scientific communities through intense collective activities and a strong communication line with stakeholders and the public at large (www.coconet-fp7.eu).

CoCoNet is a unique large project for marine protected areas (MPAs) which includes both the Black and Mediterranean Seas. This year in the Black Sea, a pilot project will be launched in the coastal waters of Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey. MPA's are at very preliminary stages in the Black Sea due to various reasons.

More marine protected areas urgently are needed for the Black Sea, because it contains large mass of H2S and its only connection to the ocean is the narrow Istanbul Strait. Its salinity and temperature of the water mass are regulated by the exchange of water from the Mediterranean through the Istanbul Strait. Establishment of the protected areas will help restore degraded and fragile Black Sea ecosystem. Designation of larger areas as marine protected areas will help also reach in 2020 target which is to protect 10 % of the marine water body.

In the Adriatic Sea, too, a Pilot Project will be launched and the results of two Pilot Projects will be one of the important outputs of CoCoNet project. The Adriatic Sea also suffers various anthropogenic stress and again more marine protected areas are needed.

A virtual workshop on oil spill disasters!

Oil spill is one of the disasters caused by human activities. Vast range of organisms are affected immediately in mass and the recovery takes both time and effort. If such an oil spill happens in an MPA, where biodiversity is meant to be protected, the damage can even be more devastating. We should, therefore, be prepared for such oil spills. Under CoCoNet Project, a virtual workshop was done at 17-24 April on "Case Study on Quick-Response Models and Strategies in Case of Accidents Impacting on MPAs" led by UkrSCES. The workshop showed us that he planning and preparedness is the first stage of combatting oil pollution. Another result is how we can succeed in quick response to oil spills within the MPAs. Thus, it surely requires bilateral and regional cooperation among relevant states.

CoCoNET Press Release 13

COCONET PRESS RELEASE

FEBRUARY-MARCH 2013

 

OFFSHORE WINDFARMS ARE NEW HOPES FOR ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY ENERGY CONSUMPTION IN EUROPE

Under CoCoNet project, a report on existing and in-progress technologies of Offshore Wind Farm (OWF) and their distribution among nations were examined.
Whereas the United States and China have taken serious steps to expand offshore wind farms, Europe leads this market segment today and is expected to do well into the next decade. Indeed, 2010 was a record year for offshore wind development in Europe, with 308 new wind turbines fully grid connected, totalling 883 MW, a 51% increase from 2009, and bringing cumulative capacity to 2,946 MW. During 2012, work was carried out on 18 offshore wind farms in European waters. Nine wind farms were completed and eight were fully grid connected. One wind farm was partially completed and grid connected, whereas in four further offshore wind farms work has begun but no turbines were connected yet.
However, additional studies are needed for the offshore projects in order to achieve more knowledge regarding the environmental impacts, the effects on radars and the collision risks. An early and active involvement of the public could also help to increase the social acceptance of the projects. Furthermore, the sector would take advantage from an international co-operation by collating data and building a one-desk-policy with sufficient and secure market support mechanisms.
 
GENETIC CONNECTIVITY, WE HAVE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT IT!

Another progress during the second phase of CoCoNet is a report focused on the genetic connectivity in the Mediterranean and Black Sea. CoCoNet experts have intensively worked on this matter. As is known, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are mostly concerned with littoral and shallow circa-littoral species and habitats. MPA networks appear to provide more protection than a set of individual and unconnected protected areas because the connectivity stemming from propagule dispersal leads to the formation of metapopulations. However, designing an effective network of MPAs is a challenging task.
For that purpose, its planned for combine extant knowledge concerning genetic connectivity and biodiversity distribution (literature synthesis) with new coordinated investigations. This will allow us to assess the effectiveness of the present MPA networks, and then, to recommend courses of action relating to the use of MPA networks as a conservation tool in the Mediterranean and Black Sea. The objectives of this workshop were:
 
1. Discuss an overview of genetic connectivity in the Mediterranean and Black Sea based on presentations and analysis of population genetic data (published or yet unpublished) supplied by participants.
2. Conduct a consultation and consensus exercise on the definitions of connectivity, propagules, and dispersal.
3. Identify through analysis and discussion geographic areas and taxon groups for which genetic data is lacking, but which are fundamental for assessing connectivity in the study regions (further genetic studies).
4. Elaborate the work plan regarding genetic connectivity assessment at both local Pilot Projects and regional scales in both Seas, to be implemented during the project.
5. Discuss integration of genetic structure and dispersal with oceanographic models (e.g. current models).
6. Discuss the most appropriate protocols of data extraction and genetic database construction in the prospect of their further integration with GIS mapping, oceanography modeling, habitat mapping and environment change .
 
NEW INFORMATION FOR SOME EVENTS
 
1. MARINE PROTECTED AREAS, EVERYONE'S BUSINESS – IMPORTANT MEETINGS IN 2013

Globally just 0,6% of the world's oceans have been protected, compared to almost 13% of our planet's land area. That's why, marine protected areas is everyone's business both in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
Several important events will take place in Europe. One of them is World Marine Protected Areas Congress which will be in Marseille and Corsica. After Australia in 2005 and the United States in 2009, The Agence des aires marines protégées (French MPA Agency), together with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), is organizing the 3rd International Marine Protected Areas Congress in Marseille and Corsica from Oct. 21 to 27, 2013.
In October 2005, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Parks Victoria initiated the very first International Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Conference in Geelong, Australia. It sought to define the various categories of MPAs and to review the state of marine ecosystems. Then in 2009, IMPAC2 was hosted in Washington, D.C., by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. It witnessed the rising relevance of public agencies in creating and managing MPAs.
Now the French MPA Agency has been commissioned by the French Ministry in charge of Ecology to organize the third IMPAC Congress, jointly with the IUCN. IMPAC3 represents a key milestone towards meeting the international objective of protecting 10 % of the planet's marine areas by 2020, as defined by the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The 3rd International Marine Protected Areas Congress as an opportunity to:
Communicate on marine protected areas (MPAs); and exchange on planning and management;
Create and promote networking through global and regional actions;
Connect people using the Web and new technologies;
Integrate marine protected areas with the rising Blue Economy;
And develop cooperation and capacity building among MPAs.
IMPAC3 aims to deliver a new vision and new tools to achieve the goal of protecting 10 % of the world's oceans by 2020.
CoCoNet team will be there during the meeting.
 
2. CIESM CONGRESS...COCONET WILL BE THERE

Another important event, CIESM Congress, will be held in Marseille from 30 October 2013 to 1 November. Several important topics will be discussed during CIESM congress such as Marine Geosciences; Physics and Climate of the Ocean; Living Resources & Marine Ecosystems, Marine Biogeochemistry, Coastal Systems, Marine Geosciences. Marine Microbiology & Biotechnology. But MPAs: steps forward, incl. socio-economic returns (CoCoNet, etc.), from one-nation-only MPAs, to transnational networks. Ideas and case studies for a shared vision, Connectivity: current and new methodologies, tools and approaches how to identify conservation and management units? How to assess connectivity? How to assess processes of connectivity from patterns of distribution? These issues will be discussed during the congress.
 
3. BLACK SEA IS NOT BLACK AT ALL...

Another important meeting will be in Constanza from 28 to 31 October 2013, celebrating the International Black Sea Day - 31 October, titled "Protection and Sustainable Management of the Black Sea". This symposium will be organized jointly by the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution (Black Sea Commission), Ministry of Environment and Climate Changes of Romania, National Institute for Marine Research and Development "Grigore Antipa" (NIMRD) Constanta, Romania.
The objectives are; to provide the opportunity to the scientific community to meet and to discuss their achievements in order to improve scientific basis for the implementation of the Black Sea Strategic Action Plan; to update the knowledge on the Black Sea ecosystems identifying the gaps in the scientific data/information; to revise the environment priorities and way forward to achieve good environmental status of the Black Sea; to discuss and assess the climate forcing mechanisms of physical, biological and biogeochemical processes at various time-spatial scales; to review the decision-support tools available in the Black Sea region and give recommendations for further developments and their use in the implementation of the BS Strategic Action Plan.
Some of the CoCoNet partners will be there to follow all debates for marine protected areas.
 
4. ARE YOU READY FOR CELEBRATING EUROPE'S MARITIME DAYS?

The 6th edition of the European Maritime Day Conference and Stakeholders Workshops will be held in Valletta on 21 - 22 May 2013. It will be organised by the European Commission (DG for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) in partnership with the Maltese Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport, and Communication, the Maltese Ministry for Tourism, Culture and Environment.The seas and oceans, and the opportunities they offer, will be at the heart of discussions. There will be high-level political debates as well as more practical exchanges between maritime stakeholders. Thoughts, ideas and new concepts will be devised during the Conference.

 

For further information please contact

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CoCoNET Press Release 12

COCONET PRESS RELEASE

JANUARY 2013

 

FIRST COCONET GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Over 100 experts gathered to evaluate the activities of the first year of CoCoNet at the General Assembly held at CNR Sede Centrale, Rome on 29-30 January 2013. The in-depth discussion was made by the Black Sea and Mediterranean experts to achieve the ultimate goal of CoCoNet, the scientific and managerial connectivity of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The first year was spent mostly to establish the scientific base of the project and to build a collaborative network of researchers in the region, north and south, east and west, through a number of workshops and meetings. These scientific bases will be tried upon for the pilot projects in the Adriatic Sea and the Western Black Sea during the coming two years. Therefore, both Adriatic and Black Sea pilot project teams exchanged information for their surveys for habitat mapping and genetic studies which will take place this summer.

 

DISCOVERIES IN THE ADRIATIC SEA

In the Adriatic Sea, a deep sea study with ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle) started during the research cruise on an Italian research vessel Urania. As a pilot project of CoCoNet, experts from Albania, Croatia, Italy, Monaco and Montenegro joined this survey in November 2012. They found assemblages of white corals in the depth of 400-500m for the first time off the coast of Montenegro. Research was made also in Boka Kotorska Bay on a specific habitat "vrulje". Another important finding was chimneys in the deep sea canyons for the first time in the Adriatic Sea.

These discoveries are important in terms of site selection of MPAs in the Adriatic Sea.

 

For further information please contact

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CoCoNET Press Release 11

COCONET PRESS RELEASE

2012

The CoCoNET Project (Coast to Coast NETworks of Marine Protected Areas Coupled with Sea-ased Wind Energy Potential) which aims to increase the number of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the Mediterranean and Black Sea and to display the potential of the off-shore wind farm in these seas started with the kick-off meeting in Rome on 27-28 February 2012.

A four-year-project CoCoNET is the second biggest marine research project of EU under the 7th Framework Programme with a budget of € 9 million. The project includes 22 countries and involves more than 400 researchers from 39 institutions, covering a vast array of subjects, developing a timely holistic approach and integrating the Mediterranean and Black Seas scientific communities through intense collective activities with stakeholders and the public at large.

Dr. Ferdinando Boero (Project Leader) stated: There are two ideas behind this CoCoNET Project. The first is to develop a network of Marine Protected Areas, which are closed areas where you can protect marine areas and better manage activities instead of having smaller Marine Protected Areas. The idea is to have a network of different protected areas to link them together to be more efficient. The second idea is to combine the project with wind energy as finding renewable energy sources is one of the main challeges of modern societies.

Some of the highlights of CoCoNet activities are as follows.

CoCoNet website was launched in March 2012 (www.coconet-fp7.eu), which features the details of the project, participants, various meetings and workshops. A poster and a brochure were produced to explain the project, mainly its concept and purpose. They were traslated into local languages to be shared by wider range of people in each coutry.

During the first year of the project, several workshops and one summer school were organized.

There are two pilot projects in CoCoNet; one in the Adriatic Sea and the other in the western Black Sea. To harmonize all activities to be realized in the second and third year of CoCoNet, a joint meeting for pilot projects was held in Istanbul, July 2012.

As a desemmination activity, CoCoNet representatives participated to celebrate the Interational Black Sea Day on 31 October 2012 in Batumi, Gerogia.

MedPAN (Network of Marine Protected Area Managers in the Mediterranean) has a strong tie with CoCoNet. It shares the idea of establishing networks of Marine Protected Areas (MPA's) in the whole Mediterranean Sea. In that scope, some of CoCoNet partners participated MedPAN Forum 2012 held in Antalya, Turkey, 25-28 November 2012. Antalya Declaration was made towards a comprehensive, ecologically representative, effectively connected and efficiently managed network of Mediterranean MPA's by 2020.

CoCoNet will continue evolving at full speed, with many activities in the second year, 2013, including two pilot projects.

For more information, please visit CoCoNet website www.coconet-fp7.eu.

CoCoNET Press Release 10

December, 2012

 

Virtual Workshop on Multi Scale Basin-wide Circulations

One of the important CoCoNet workshops on "Multi scale basin-wide circulations" was organized by Antonio Felice Petrillo (CoNISMa) and took place between 26 November and 4 December, 2012. It was attended by 37 researchers from 18 institutions in 9 countries. During this virtual workshop, it was aimed to collect and discuss existing knowledge on multi scale basin-wide circulations in Mediterranean and Black Sea, to collect the workshop participants information on mathematical models of circulation and diffusion of the various parameters on their calibration and their performance, to define the mathematical models best suited to achieve the objectives of the CoCoNet Project. The workshop was organized as four sessions, such as Ocean Circulation Models (OCM), Coupled Transport-Ecological Model (CTEM) - Modelling impacts of climate change and climate variability on ocean circulation and ocean ecological properties. Most suitable models on hydrodynamic and environmental dynamics with respect to present and potential distribution of MPAs were discussed. Data analyses (including long time series of ocean data and satellite remote sensing derived information) of the most important parameters are to be considered in CoCoNet Project.

A wide range of case studies were shared among the participants, focusing such as analysed objectives, domain examined, spatial and temporal resolution; available/required knowledge; parameterization; computational requirement; computation time; input and output data; model calibration by field data.

The state of the know-how on the circulation of the main physical, chemical, biological and geological parameters in the Mediterranean and Black Sea by the expertises of all participants, and a preliminary selection of software on hydrodynamic and environmental dynamics to be used in CoCoNet were discussed.

CoCoNet General Assembly

CoCoNet will celebrate the completion of its first year in January 2013. General Assembly will be held in Rome on 29-30 January 2013. From the beginning of the project up to today, all works will be evaluated to improve the future activities to achieve better results. While the results of CoCoNet Project will be essential to reach the Aichi target by 2020, all Black and Mediterranean Sea scientists, stakeholders and managers should devote themselves to reach this target. The general assembly will be an important step towards our common goal by exchanging opinions and experiences in the first year as well as by motivating participants of the project.

CoCoNET Press Release 9

November, 2012

 

AN IMPORTANT ROAD MAP FOR MARINE PROTECTED AREAS HAS BEEN DRAWN IN ANTALYA-TURKEY AT MedPAN FORUM

MedPAN has a strong tie with CoCoNET. It shares the idea of establishing networks of Marine Protected Areas (MPA's) in the whole Mediterranean Sea. MedPAN Forum 2012 was held in Antalya, Turkey, 25-28 November 2012. Over 300 scientists, managers, stakeholders from 20 countries joined the forum, including CoCoNET partners, and elaborated Antalya Declaration together towards a comprehensive, ecologically representative, effectively connected and efficiently managed network of Mediterranean MPA's by 2020. Dr. Ferdinando Boero, the leader of CoCoNET, explained about CoCoNET at the forum.

The forum hosted principally by the Turkish Government, with the support of international organizations, such as IUCN, RAC/SPA, UNDP-GEF. Improving the MPA network in the Mediterranean will help its riparian countries in achieving the Aichi Targets set under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and in fulfilling their obligations towards the Barcelona Convention, ACCOBAMS, GFCM and Ramsar Convention. In that sense, the commitments made on a regional basis by fulfilling their obligations towards Mediterranean countries provide a solid system for establishing a network MPA's in Mediterranean. Besides, stronger political commitment, more effort on a national level as well as greater cooperation, coordination and mutual assistance on a Mediterranean level is needed. It is already known that the existing Mediterranean network of MPA's is still suffering significant weakness. This is not based only on an ecological representativeness and connectivity, lack of effective management and sustainable financing as well as effective coordination among stakeholders.

Antalya Declaration was drafted as a vision to achieve by 2020 a connected, ecologically representative, effectively managed and monitored network of MPA's which ensures the long term conservation of the key components of the marine biodiversity and gives solid support to the sustainable development of the region. Four strategic objectives have been set to achieve the 2020 targets are as follows.

a) Establish an ecological network of MPA's which is representative and connected;

b) Achieve an effective, efficient and sustainable management and governance in Mediterranean MPA's;

c) Develop territorial and sectorial integrated governance of Mediterranean MPA's while promoting the sharing of environmental and socio-economical benefits; and

d) Increase the allocation of financial resources to establish and maintain an ecological network of effectively managed MPA's.

VIRTUAL FOCUSED WORKSHOP BEST PRACTICES FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF MPAs NETWORK MONITORING AND MANAGEMENT EFFECTIVENESS

Virtual Focused Workshop on Best Practices for the Management of MPAs Network Monitoring and Management Effectiveness took place from 5 to 16 November, 2012. It was organized by Paul Goriup and Melanie Gammon (NatureBureau) and 36 researchers from 18 institutions took part in the workshop.

The aims of this workshop were (i) to review and subsequently agree on the procedures for gathering and sharing MPA management data in the Mediterranean and Black Seas; and (ii) to review international best practice management guidelines, with a view to identifying the methods that can be used to analyze current management systems (including indicator based monitoring) for sites and networks of sites.

The workshop focused on the key components for management and/or monitoring marine protected areas, methodologies can be used to assess the effectiveness of current management systems, information required to produce guidance documents for management and monitoring of networks of MPAs and best practices for managing and monitoring marine protected areas, especially as networks. A wide range of case studies were shared among the participants, ranging from Malta and UK to the Philippines and Canada.

 

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CoCoNET Press Release 8

October, 2012

Connecting To Design Better MPA Networks

 

The workshop on "Species distribution, beta diversity and connectivity" was held in Castiglioncello (Livorno, Italy) between the 16th and 18th of October 2012.

The main objective of the workshop was to synthesize available information on species distribution, beta diversity, biogeography and connectivity to design better MPA networks.

With the participation of 24 scientists from 9 countries this main objevtive has been discussed from different point of views and very efficient agreements were ensured.

Although the general patterns of species richness and distribution have been synthesized recently for the Mediterranean, it was emphasized that a new contribution on species diversity and connectivity should be based on beta diversity and provide links with potentially important environmental drivers.

A preliminary analysis of data on benthic algae and invertebrates indicated that a 50% decay of similarity in species composition may be expected at the spatial scale of about 600 km for the Mediterranean case study. This figure will be refined with the analysis of additional data to assist decisions on site location and spacing in the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea case studies.

A template for data organization was agreed upon and this will be further refined and circulated among participants for data sharing. It was agreed that the deadline for contributing data for WP3 Task 2 activities is March 31 2013. Policy rules for data sharing and use have been discussed and a general agreement was achieved also.

International Black Sea Action Day

International Black Sea Action Day is celebrated every year on the anniversary of the signing of the original 'Strategic Action Plan on the Protection and Rehabilitation of the Black Sea' in 1996 by Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine.

This plan puts forward the commitment of these countries to the rehabilitation and protection of the Black Sea ecosystem and the sustainable development of its natural resources. CoCoNET project has also contributed to the celebration in order to create awareness.

CoConet Project has been presented to the scientific, governmental and non-governmental communities in Batumi, Georgia at the occasion of the day of Black Sea on 31st of October .

The leader of Workpackage Seven, Prof. Bayram Öztürk made a presentation covering the content, the mission and also the targets of the Coconet Project to a large audience. Accordingly, some posters and brochures about activities concerning Black Sea have been distributed to the attending audience.

Besides, National Environmental Agency has been visited by the committee and CoConet posters and brochures have been delivered there as well.

Promotion of CoCoNET by NIMRD

Promotion and dissemination of CoCoNET project has been carried out proactively by NIMRD "Grigore Antipa" through dissemination of fliers and display of the poster at press conference during 27th of October 2012 at a meeting organized by NIMRD "Grigore Antipa", Balkan Environmental Association and the Complex of Natural Sciences of Constanta.

Over 40 fliers were distributed among the participants: Junior Ranger group of MPA 2 Mai – Vama Veche, students and teachers taking part in the traditional celebration of the Black Sea Day, alerting the public.

The activity promoted understanding and dissemination of knowledge about the Black Sea environment and contributed to the introduction of CoCoNET to the wider community with emphasize to Marine Protected Areas, in particular to MPA 2 Mai – Vama Veche.

Promotion of CoCoNET among NGO partners

The NIMRD has disseminated the information about the CoCoNET Project to the Balkan Environmental Association network which is address to the academia, research institutes, local authorities and NGO partners of the Black Sea and Mediterranean region.

The Environmental Committee of the Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, Greece will organize the 2nd International Conference on the New Generation of the Green Infrastructure by the 8th and 9th of November 2012.

The main target of this conference is the updating technology of the renewable energy resources and relating Green Infrastructure. The topics of the conference are focused on Green infrastructure construction; sustainable development and green economy and environmental management and protection.

"Towards Future Sustainable Development" conference will take place at the Faculty of Natural Sciences between 16-18 November 2012 in Albania. Also the annual meeting of the Black Sea Commission Advisory Group on Development of Common Methodology for Integrated Coastal Zone Management will be held in the 3-4 December. With this opportunity the promotion and dissemination will be carried out with presentation and leaflets of CoCoNET project the for Advisory Group members of the six Black Sea riparian countries. The presentation will be done by the representative of the Romanian Focal Point on ICZM, Dr. Mariana Golumbeanu.

For further information please visit www.coconet-fp7.eu

CoCoNET Press Release 7

September, 2012

The Virtual Workshops Focusing On

The Mediterranean and The Black Sea

 

Workshop on Socioeconomic impacts of MPA Networks

The virtual focused workshop 'Socioeconomic impacts of MPA Networks in The Mediterranean and the Black Sea', organized by Marta Pascual and Elena Ojea from the Basque Centre of Climate Change, was held on 17-21 September 2012.

The main objective was to understand the existing evidences of socioeconomic impacts of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in both regions. Four sessions were designed for this purpose. The first session focused on the the socioeconomic impacts of MPAs; the second on the methodologies for socioeconomic assessment; the third was about the drivers of change and the fourth session was on the MPA networks and policies.

The objectives of the workshop were to review the evidence of socioeconomic impacts of MPAs and MPA Networks, to share case studies, and to identify the main gaps in knowledge and future improvements in the management of such areas for the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

A total of 90 participants from 12 countries were involved in these sessions, which included CoCoNet researchers, PERSEUS partners and external experts from the institutions in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and other areas, with specific interest in the topic of the virtual workshop.

Sessions were moderated by Paco Melià and Marisa Rosetto from CONISMA (Italy), Melanie Gammon from NBC and Nataliya Milchakova from IBSS. A panel of 10 external advisors has been consulted from international organizations such as UNEP, Conservation International, CIESM, the World Resources Institute, MEDPAN, and Boston University.

As a result, a significant exchange of materials and guidelines on the topics was realized online and the main gaps and future research directions in the field were agreed. The socioeconomic impacts of MPAs were discussed and the group decided to update the existing experience with a review for the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Evidences of socioeconomic impacts of MPAs were gathered for the regions of interest, with special focus on the isolation and the geopolitical context of the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. Case studies were exchanged and reviewed, with the aim of providing new evidences on the performance and methodologies of socioeconomic analysis.

The main drivers for changes in the MPAs were identified with a special emphasis on the potential marine wind energy as a major player interacting with marine protection. Finally, the potential and limitations of MPAs networks were examined. A final report will be produced with the inputs from the advisory board

Workshop on Seabed Mapping

The virtual focused workshop on Seabed Mapping, led by D. Sakellariou (Hellenic Center for Marine Research), took place between 3 - 7 September 2012 in the frame of CoCoNet WP 8. The main scope of the workshop was to exchange experience and ideas on seabed mapping methods & techniques.

The workshop was attended by 22 participants from Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Turkey and Ukraine, predominantly marine geologists, biologists, oceanographers GIS-experts, environmental scientists with experience in the use of seabed survey techniques (swath bathymetry, side scan sonar, sub-bottom profiling, etc) as a tool for habitat mapping.

This final outcome of the workshop includes comprehensive description of the various remote sensing, geophysical techniques, most commonly used for seabed mapping, best practices for the use of seabed mapping techniques and metadata maps of seabed surveyed areas in the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Seas.

CoCoNET Press Release 6

August, 2012

CoCoNET Project is focusing on the European Union protocols for data sharing

 

The virtual workshop on existing EU protocols and standards for data and metadata sharing, rules for dataflow between partners and design of COCONET Data Model led by Federica Foglini and Devrim Tezcan took place between 23-30 July 2012, and was attended by 25 participants from 11 countries.

Four experts in Spatial Data Infrastructure implementation, INSPIRE Directive and Metadata Standards joined the discussions: Paola Carrara and Alessandro Oggioni (CNR-IREA), Alessandro Sarretta (CNR-ISMAR and JRC) and Peter Thijsse (data manager at MARIS (Maritime Information Systems AS expert in Metadata implementation and development) Seadatanet representative).

This workshop represents the first fundamental step of the "Data Management and synthesis" to provide a valuable common framework for data management.

The aim of the workshop was to reach an agreement of the entire consortium involved at different levels concerning the EU metadata standards and protocols, the metadata editing tools, the architecture of the Geodatabase and the data flow schema.

Monitoring Marine Invasive Species

"Molecular tools for monitoring marine invasive species in European seas" will be held in September 12-14th 2012, in Lecce, Italy.

This workshop is organized within the 2011-2014 European Community project VECTORS ("Vectors of Change in Oceans and Seas- marine Life, Impact on Economic Sectors") and under the endorsements of two new EC projects (2012-2015): PERSEUS ("Policy-orientated marine Environmental Research for the Southern European Seas")  and CoCoNET ("Towards COast to COast NETworks of marine protected areas - from the shore to the high and deep sea -, coupled with sea-based wind energy potential)

The workshop is intended to extend the use of molecular tools by European research groups engaged in monitoring changes in the marine environment as a result of the novel success of invasive alien species or of the spread of native species with increasing competitive performance and outbreak potentials.

The aim of the workshop will be to gather world-wide renowned experts to jointly review scientific issues, existing methods, technical difficulties associated with development of sophisticated tools, and to consider the usefulness of DNA-based technologies for variousapplications relevant to invasive species monitoring

Expected outcomes of the meeting include formulation of recommendations and guidelines for marine organisms and the promotion of a samples bank for research and future reference by the research community. The meeting will also offer an opportunity for discussing future collaborations between groups and submission of joint research proposals.

For further information please contact

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CoCoNET Press Release 5

July, 2012

"Habitats Are More Important than the Species"

The first joint meeting for CoCoNet Pilot Projects was held in Istanbul, 16-17 July 2012.

The details of the PPs (Pilot Projects) in the Mediterranean and Black Seas were discussed with the partners of the PPs as well as WP leaders.

 

The first pilot project meeting of CoCoNET Project was held in Istanbul on the 16th and 17th of July at the University of Istanbul.

The first day started with the work package leaders presentations on CoCoNET. On the second day of the meeting the discussion meetings took place. There were 3 working groups, one for the Black Sea Pilot Project, another for the Adriatic Sea Pilot Project, and the other for the deep water.

On the first day, Simonetta Fraschetti made a presentation "Pattern of distribution of species and habitats in the pilot area: known and unknown" and Antoni Garia-Rubies's presentation was about "Threats and potential environmental changes in Pilot Areas.

One of the most important roles of the CoCoNET project is the offshore wind farm (OWF). Accordingly, OWF was another important issue at this meeting. The work package leader Takvor Tsoukissian mentioned in his presentation that in one year time, they will be able to speak more specifically about the site selection. He also explained the criteria for site selection, such as wind speed statistics, local wave climate, bathymetry, distance from shore and infrastructure on land, bottom morphology and sediments, assessment of physical constraints and infrastructures, marine and aerial traffic, marine use considerations and environmental impact of construction and relevant operations

The leader of Work Package 9 (Data Management and Synthesis), Frederica Foglini, had focused on the geomorphology of the south Adriatic Sea. On the other hand Marco Taviani had made a presentation on the deep sea ecosystem in the South Adriatic Sea and also coast to coast transport pathways in the Southern Adriatic Sea from drifter data.

Black Sea and Adriatic Sea Pilot Projects are among the main purpose of CoCoNET.

Mediterranean Sea Pilot Project and Black Sea Pilot Project will run in parallel and will be integrated with each other with the aim to prioritize several sites to assess whether abiotic and biotic factors, their relationships, and ongoing natural and human driven processes justify their inclusion in anecological network of MPAs, also analysing their potential interconnectivity.

The coordinator of the CoCoNET project Dr. Ferdinando Boero specified that this project will ensure a network between the Mediterranean countries. Dr. Boero underlies the importance of the awareness.

"Until now the protection is targeted to the Marine Protected Areas and outside there is nothing. We end up protecting very small portion of the seas and we leave the rest to over- exploitation. The network concept means to extend at least some principles of the MPAs to the whole sea. We need to increase the awareness of protecting the environment as a value and as a wise thing to do"

According to Dr. Boero, the main target of the protection should not be the species but the habitat. He quoted, "The species cannot live without its habitats. So if we protect the habitat we protect also the species. Another important result of this is the shift from the species to the habitat perception. Habitats are more important than the species."

To create MPA's in the Black Sea is one of the other important missions of CoCoNET . During his speech Dr. Boero mentioned on this issue as well.

" The first thing we should do is to specify the appropriate fields in order to create MPA's and push the governments to take action. The laws have to be implemented by politicians. The scientist can give advice and see if the advice is heard by the politicians. In the Mediterranean the MPA's have been built individually without taking consideration of the concept of networks. Now we are trying to build the network on a series of MPA's that have been implemented without thinking about a network. We have to do it a posteriori."

 

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CoCoNET Press Release 4

13.07.2012

Scientists Are Searching for the Genetical Codes of the

Mediterranean and Black Sea

The CoCoNET Project (Coast to Coast NETworks) which aims to increase the number of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Mediterranean and Black Sea is proceeding with workshops to identify the physical and biological connections between the two seas.

Executive Summary of the workshop on "Synthesis on knowledge on genetic connectivity in Mediterranean and Black Sea" held on 11th-13th June 2012 at Institud d'Estudis Catalans, Barcelona, Spain.

Genetic connectivity has been studied in different species along the area, with different markers and at various geographical scales. However, the information gained through those studies has not been integrated and related to the features of connectivity identified by modeling efforts as essential to resilience.

The Workshop aimed in the first place, to identify the existing network of connectivity using similar approaches in both the Mediterranean and Black Sea. For that purpose, the existing knowledge concerning genetic connectivity and biodiversity distribution was combined with new coordinated investigations using the concerted protocols in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

Another important goal of the workshop was to assess the current effectiveness of the present MPA network, and then, to provide useful hints for the improvement of MPA networks in the Mediterranean and Black Sea for more effective conservation.

In that context, the identification of areas and taxon groups lacking genetic studies, but fundamental to assess connectivity in the study region, has been overviewed during the workshop.

For more information about the project you may visit the web site: www.coconet-fp7.eu

CoCoNET Press Release 3

Coconet Project  continues to call for action for the future of  the Mediterranean and Black Seas

The CoCoNET Project, (Coast to Coast NETworks), which involves more than 400 researchers from 39 institutions, kicked off on Feb. 27 in Rome. After the kick off meeting, representatives of the program gather in Istanbul on May 7 and briefed the press members about the project.

The press meeting hosted by Dr. Ferdinando Boero, coordinator of the project and coordinator for the National Research Council of Italy and Dr. Bayram Öztürk, work package 7 leader, a professor of marine sciences at Istanbul University and chair of the Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV).

Dr.Boero had explained the importance of the Mediterranean to the press members and also gave details about the CoCoNET project.

Next important step: Monitoring marine invasive species

Under the CoCoNET Project, a very important workshop on monitoring the European seas will be held in September 12-14th in Lecce, Italy.

"Molecular tools for monitoring marine invasive species in European seas" is organized within the 2011-2014 European Community project VECTORS ("Vectors of Change in Oceans and Seas- marine Life, Impact on Economic Sectors") (http://www.marine-vectors.eu), and under the endorsements of two new EC projects (2012-2015): PERSEUS ("Policy-orientated marine Environmental Research for the Southern European Seas") (http://www.perseus-net.eu) and CoCoNET ("Towards COast to COast NETworks of marine protected areas - from the shore to the high and deep sea -, coupled with sea-based wind energy potential) (http://www.coconet-fp7.eu).

The workshop is intended to extend the use of molecular tools by European research groups engaged in monitoring changes in the marine environment as a result of the novel success of invasive alien species or of the spread of native species with increasing competitive performance and outbreak potentials.

Expected outcomes of the meeting include formulation of recommendations and guidelines for marine organisms and the promotion of a samples bank for research and future reference by the research community.

http://www.coconet-fp7.eu/index.php/announcements/129-oceans-of-tomorrow

Meeting in Istanbul

The first joint meeting for CoCoNet Pilot Projects will be held in Istanbul, 16-17 July 2012. The details of the PPs in the Mediterranean and Black Seas will be discussed inviting all participants involved in the PPs as well as WP leaders.

Summer Course in University of Perpignan

This summer a very important topic for those who are interested in will be discussed in the University of Perpignan, France in June 25th- July 1st

Meta-analysis is the quantitative synthesis and analysis of a collection of independent studies. It provides a more objective and powerful way of summarising evidence across studies than descriptive reviews. The importance and utility of this quantitative method for answering new questions and synthesizing existing results in different fields of scientific research is demonstrated by the dramatic increase in the number of studies using meta-analysis in the last ten years.

The course will provide the basics of meta-analysis. The emphasis of the course is both on the conceptual understanding and practical use of this method, as applied to ecological questions. It will consist of lectures, discussions, and practical exercises.

Workshop in Barcelona

Workshop on synthesis on knowledge on genetic connectivity in mediterranean and black sea is held in Barcelona at the 11th and 13th of June. The aim of this workshop was to identify the existing network of connectivity in the mediterranean and black sea to assess the current effectiveness of the present network of MPAs for favouring conservation.

With this workshop the development of the most appropriate framework for genetic data storage for mapping and analysis of connectivity has been realised by the participants.

CoCoNET Istanbul Meeting Press Release

P1080816web

CoConet Project cares most about nature than anything else

 

"Nature is more important than economics. Humans are part of nature and tend to forget this"

 

The CoCoNET Project, (Coast to Coast NETworks), which involves more than 400 researchers from 39 institutions, kicked off on Feb. 27 in Rome. After the kick off meeting, representatives of the program gather in İstanbul on May 7 and briefed the press members about the project.

The press meeting hosted by Dr. Ferdinando Boero, coordinator of the project and coordinator for the National Research Council of Italy and Dr. Bayram Öztürk, work package 7 leader, a professor of marine sciences at İstanbul University and chair of the Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV).

The CoCoNET Project happens to be the second biggest marine research project of the EU under the seventh Framework Program after the Perseus Project, which concentrates on maritime border control.

Dr.Boero had explained the importance of the Mediterenean to the press members and also gave details about the CoCoNET project.

Dr.Boero; "Tourism is a very big economic industry in Southern Europe. If we destroy nature, we destroy the possibility of having further incomes from high level tourism. So its is our interest to have healthy nature to live in. This project is also aiming a having a development of the culture of the people to live in this beautiful habitat. In a survey in Turkey shows us that %1.8 of the population declared the big cared about the quality of the environment. It's a big problem. Because the threats to the integrity of the environment are almost human driven. So we are the threats. Our culture is the best medicine to these threats. If we don't perceive the values of nature we will destroy nature. We will destroy ourselves too"

One other most important part of the project is to build Offshore Wind Farms.

Dr.Boero asserted; "Another leg of this project is sea based wind energy potential. So you have seen that many countries like in Japan, where there was a big development of nuclear power plants now they are abandoning because it's unsafe. We have to find other ways of producing energy. Offshore wind farms are one the clean ways to produce clear energy. From one side we want to protect the environment but don't want to go back Middle Ages. So we need energy we have to find ways energy in a clean way. And Offshore Wind Farms (OWF) might be a way. In Northern Europe this has been done extensively there are no offshore wind farms in the southern European seas. So this project will explore the possibility of having these installments in our seas. On land in many countries there is a strong opposition because of the landscape. So having them offshore, far away from the coast they can not be seen. Maybe is a solution to this problem. We will have to look these things. "

It is also stated that the project involves different countries together under one single mission and it is the future sake of the seas. That's why it's important for single countries to enforce protection policies if there is not in accordance among the various states.

Dr Boero also asserted that humans are underestimating the nature because of their economic needs.

"The most important things are related to the economics. The laws of economics are always invoked to tell us how we have to behave. There is a very simple question. 'If the laws of economics are in contrast with the laws of nature, which one is going to prevail?' Of course, the laws of nature! We have to give a lot of importance to economics but nature is more important than economics. Economics is inside the nature can not be outside the nature. Humans are part of nature and we tend to forget this. "

Dr. Bayram Ozturk also briefed the press members about the importance of the project. "We want to build marine protected areas in Turkey. We want to build shelters in order to protect the die out species and we will prevent illegal fishing. We are aiming to ban some areas to fishing so that fry fishes can survive."


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For further information please contact

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CoConet Project cares most about nature than anything else

CoCoNET Press Release 2

 26.04.2012

Scientists work hard for Mediterranean and Black Sea

 

The CoCoNET Project (Towards COast to COast NETworks of marine protected areas coupled with sea-based wind energy potential) which aims to increase the number of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in Mediterranean and Black Sea is proceeding with workshops that aim to identify the physical and biological connections between the two seas. For more information about the project you may visit the web site: www.coconet-fp7.eu

Genetic connectivity in Mediterranean and Black Sea

Workshop on synthesis on knowledge on genetic connectivity in Mediterranean and Black Sea is going to be held in Barcelona at the 11th and 13th of June.

Genetic connectivity has been studied in different species along the area, with different markers and at various geographical scales. However, the information gained through those studies has not been integrated and related to the features of connectivity identified by modeling efforts as essential to resilience.

The workshop will analyse genetic connectivity in Mediterranean and Black seas and also will focus on the link between life history interacting with dispersal, oceanography and modeling. The definition of propagules and dispersal, the construction of a genetic database for further modelling and integration with habitat mapping and environmental change and the definition of the work plan regarding genetic analysis both local and regional scales in the Mediterranean and Black seas are the main objectives of the workshop.

The main outcome of this workshop is expected to be the development of the most appropriate framework for genetic data storage for mapping and analysis of connectivity between the two seas.

 

Habitat Classification Schemes in Deep and Shallow Water Areas

The other workshop will be focusing on the habitat classification schemes in deep and shallow water areas. It will be held in Lecce at the 15th and 16th of May.

The core of this workshop is to integrate and combine the already existent information about habitat distribution and extent with a detailed assessment of pattern of distribution of human pressures.

Key concepts and considerations in designing marine habitat classifications have been developed by many authors who focused on the definition of habitat, the measurable features used to describe it, the scale and the hierarchical framework to be used. However, conclusive results and shared classifications have not been identified yet. These limitations impede interpretation and integration of maps both for science and management, particularly at regional (international) scales.

The aim of the workshop will be to compare and revise the recent efforts about the definition of habitat, the habitat inventories and the classification schemes available for the Mediterranean Sea and for extra Mediterranean area, the link between geomorphology and biology and the use of surrogates in seascape mapping, the scales used to analyse habitat distribution and extent and legend labels and symbols to represent habitats.

 

GIS Techinal Meeting in Lecce

CoCoNET project also gathers a meeting in Lecce by the 17th of May to set up design rules for data sharing and geodatabase architecture which called GIS meeting.

This meeting will be a preparatory action by reviewing the existing European protocols and standards for data and metadata sharing and definition of data flow rules between partners.

The aim of the GIS Technical meeting is to create a GIS group to support COCONET community for the production and submission of GIS data during the lifespan of the project.

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CoCoNET Press Release 1

FamilyWeb

 

CoCoNET Press Release 1(1)

Istanbul, 26.03.2012

 

22 Countries 39 Institutions and more than 400 scientists get together for the future of European Seas

The EU dedicated €9 million to multidisciplinary research to set up guidelines for "Marine Protected Areas" in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea

 

The CoCoNET Project, (Coast to Coast NETworks) which aims to increase the number of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in Mediterranean and Black Sea and to display the potential of the Off-Shore Wind Farm in these seas started with the kick-off meeting on 27-28 February in Rome. CoCoNET, which is going to last for 4 years, is the second biggest marine research project of EU under the 7th Framework Programme with a budget of € 9 million after the Perseus Project.

CoCoNET will identify groups of interconnected MPA's in the Mediterranean and Black Seas shifting from local to regional and basin scales. The identification of physical and biological connections will clarify the processes that govern patterns of biodiversity distribution. This will enhance policies of effective environmental management, thereby ascertaining if the existing MPAs are sufficient for ecological networking and suggesting how to design further protection schemes, based on effective exchange between protected areas.

The project includes 22 countries and involves more than 400 researchers from 39 institutions covering a vast array of subjects developing a timely holistic approach and integrating the Mediterranean and Black Seas scientific communities through intense collective activities with stakeholders and the public at large.

The project will produce the guidelines to design, manage and monitor networks of MPAs and an enriched wind atlas for both Mediterranean and the Black Seas.

CoCoNET has 11 Work Packages including habitat mapping, state of knowledge, data integration and scenarios of protection, scenarios of environmental change (natural and human induced), socio-economic issues legislation, and Off-Shore Wind Farms (OWF).

Today Europe derives 20 % of electricity from Renewable Energy Sources (RES). According to the Renewable Energy Directive, 34% of EU's total electricity consumption will come from RES in 2020. But the European Environmental Agency's projection shows that in order to reach this target off-shore wind energy capacity should be increased 17-fold until 2020. Consequently, OWF is one the most important segments of CoCoNET.

Jacques Fuchs (Head of Sector, European Commission RTD E4) explain:

There are two ideas behind this CoCoNET Project. The first is to develop a network of Marine Protected Areas, which are closed areas where you can protect marine areas and better manage activity instead of having smaller Marine Protected Areas. The idea is to have a network of different protected areas to link them together to be more efficient. The second idea is to combine the project with wind energy. We are developing a plan for generating energy from the sea. We should also make sure that we develop this Project not only for the northern coast of the Mediterranean but also for the southern Mediterranean countries like Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco.

Dr. Ferdinando Boero (Project Leader, Coordinator for the National Research Council of Italy) stated:

This is a unifying concept throughout these countries when we speak about seas, environment and ecology. It is the same in Turkey, in Israel and in Italy. There are no barriers, we speak about the same things without prejudice; and for this reason I think this is a very good practice. We will create a force of scientists who will work for the society and for allowing the decision makers to have solid scientific evidence on which they will base their choices in the future. The goal is to inform the decision makers of what's best for our seas.

Dr. Takvor Soukissian (Hellenic Center for Marine Research) stated:

We want to estimate the spatial distribution of the available off-shore wind power potential over the Mediterranean and Black Seas under current and future climate conditions. Along with that, during the same procedure hot-spots for potential OWF development will be identified. The second aim is to provide knowledge of existing and in-progress technology of off-shore wind farm elements and off-shore wind turbines and finally we want to develop the smart wind chart for the entire Mediterranean and Black Seas.

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CoCoNET Press Release 1(1)