IUCN invites scuba diving clubs to collaborate in the monitoring and identification of marine invasive species

Diver in the Mediterranean Sea. Mar Otero.

Diver in the Mediterranean Sea. Mar Otero.

The Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN-Med) will launch this summer, acampaign to promote the involvement of scuba diving clubs, scuba divers federations, professional and recreational divers, water sports enthusiasts and the general public in the monitoring and identification of marine invasive species in the Mediterranean.

 This initiative is part of the comprehensive MedMIS plan, which is an online information system designed to monitor and identify exotic invasive species within different Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Mediterranean, considering that some marine invasive species are one of the biggest and most dangerous threats to the biodiversity of this unique ecosystem.

Thus, a large number of nonnative fish species, mollusks, crustaceans and jellyfish became established in more than 180 marine protected areas distributed among 19 coastal countries. These exotic species threaten to displace the local flora and fauna and could hinder management efforts to maintain or restore their ecological integrity.

The local collaborators of the initiative may report casual sighting by using an online platform (www.iucn-medmis.org) and through the free mobile application for iOS and Android, there by generating a dynamic map which will provide the exact location of the different species observed in the region and will help expand the information available on their distribution, spread and population density.

About the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation

IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,200 government and NGO members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. The IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation was opened in October 2001 with the core support of the Spanish Ministry of Environment, the regional Government of Junta de Andalucía and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID). The Centre’s mission is to influence, encourage and assist Mediterranean societies to conserve and use sustainably the natural resources of the region and work with IUCN members and cooperate with all other agencies that share the objectives of the IUCN.

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