Regional Activity Centre for Specially
         Protected Areas RAC/SPA
     RAC/SPA consultants for CAMP Cyprus:
           Alfonso A. Ramos Esplá
            Andreas Demetropoulos
              The Marine Environment is Different
    The marine environment is very different to the terrestrial one, however
    much of the marine protection normative is often based on the terrestrial
    philosophy. In this context the application of this “terrestrial
    philosophy” to the marine areas is not adequate because the marine
    realm is characterised by:

•   being open, with no physical barriers and no defined limits (water masses
    mobility by currents, free dispersal stage of many of the marine organisms;

•   small-scale complexity and interrelation of the ecological processes;

•   no ownership and more administrative complexity (various administrations;
    local, regional, national and supranational normatives);

•   confluence of various uses (fishing, aquaculture, navigation, industry, leisure
    and tourism, etc.); and

•   large spread of the environmental impacts (pollution (nutrients etc), sediment
    dumping ……).
Areas so far studied in detail in MedMPA
            project in Cyprus

(CG) Capo Greko; (MR) Moullia Rocks; (AP) Akamas Peninsula
            Objectives (MedMPA)
i) identification and classification of the marine biocenosis in
the proposed sites;

ii) collecting data on the habitats and species of importance
(Barcelona Convention, SPA Protocol 1995);

iii) bionomical cartography and site selection of conservation

iv) to draft the preliminary management plans of proposed
Cape Greko (stations)
Moullia Rocks (stations)
Akamas Peninsula (stations)
Akamas West (stations)
                 Habitats of interest
• Littoral Habitats (0-1m):
   – Dendropoma petraeum formations
   – Lithophyllum trocanter formations
   – Cystoseira amentacea habitats (exposed rock)
Vermetus shelf
                      Habitats of interest
• Shallow Cystoseira spp. habitat (C. cf. humilis, C. spinosa v.
   tenuior, C. foeniculacea) (0-37m)
                  Habitats of interest

• Circalittoral enclaves (infralitoral stage) (1-15m)
                                Habitats of interest
        •   Association with Sargassum cf. trichocarpum (35-50m)

Biocenosis of coralligenous algae with Sargassum cf. trichocarpum with Caulerpa spp. (C.
prolifera, C. racemosa). 42m (picture P. Sánchez-Jérez).
                   Coralligenous community
•   Encrusting calcareous algae and filter-feeding animals (35-57m)

Coralligenous biocenosis with incrustant rhodophytes (Mesophyllum alternans,
Peyssonnelia spp.) and the sponges Ircinia oros (grey), Clathrina clathrus (yellow) and
Agelas oroides (orange). 46m (picture P. Sánchez-Jérez).
Submarine caves
             Posidonia oceanica meadows
•   On sand (1-42m); on rock (1-37m)
      Cymodocea nodosa meadows
On sand/mud 1-10 m
                        Coastal detritic
•   Maërl facies (35-57m)
        Shores with high cliffs with sea caves
•   High cliffs with sea caves can be found in Akamas, Akrotiri, Cape Pyla, and
    Ayia Napa. Some of the caves were inhabited by Monk Seals and some still
    are. A survey of these caves as Monk seal breeding or resting habitats was
    undertaken in 1997 - this is currently being updated (2005 – 2006).
                          Sandy Beaches
•   Sandy beaches are predominant in the large sheltered bays:
    Larnaca, Limassol, Polis Chrysochou. Pocket beaches are found on
    rocky shores.

•   Sandy beaches on the island are of different kinds. They vary
    not only in the chemical and physical characteristics (grain size, etc)
    of the sand but also in their profile, depth and stability. Beaches on
    the west coast of the island are exposed to the pounding action of
    large waves

•   Some sandy beaches can support populations of Ghost Crabs
    (Ocypode cursor), a crab that digs deep burrows in the sand on the

•   Green turtles nest on high-profile, high-energy beaches, while
    Loggerhead turtles nest mainly on low-profile low-energy beaches.
    The main Loggerhead nesting beaches are in Chrysochou Bay and
    the Green turtle nesting beaches are in the Lara/Toxeftra area.
Toxeftra beach – a high energy high profile beach showing
Green turtle nesting activity
Lara beach
Low profile beach: Polis-Limni-Yialia
Interesting species (Annex II and III of the SPA Protocol of the
Barcelona Convention) found in Cyprus include:
     • Posidonia oceanica
     •   Cystoseira amentacea, C. spinosa, C. zosteroides
     •   Lithophyllum trochanter
     •   Axinella cannabina, A. polypoides, A. verrucosa
     •   Spongidae - Spongia officinalis, S. zimocca
     •   Charonia tritonis
     •   Dendropoma petraeum
     •   Erosaria spurca, Luria lurida
     •   Lithophaga lithophaga
     •   Pinna nobilis, Pinna rudis
     •   Tonna galea
     •   Ocypode cursor, Scyllarides latus
     •   Hornera lichenoides
     •   Centrostephanus longispinus
     •   Fish - Epinephelus marginatus, Sciaena umbra, Squatina squatina
     •   Turtles - Chelonia mydas, Caretta caretta
     •   Dolphins - five species
     •   Monk Seals - Monachus monachus
                Species of interest: Porifera
•   Axinella spp. (A. polypoides, A. cannabina, A. verrucosa)
•   Spongidae (Spongia officinalis, Hippospongia communis)
     Species of interest: Mollusca Gastropoda
•   Cypraeidae (Erosaria spurca, Luria lurida), Tonna galea, Charonia
    tritonis variegata
     Species of interest: Mollusca Bivalvia

•   Pinna nobilis, Lithophaga lithophaga, Spondylus gaederopus
               Species of interest: Crustacea
•   Scyllarides latus, Scyllarus arctus, Palinurus elephas, Maia squinado
    Species of interest: Crustacea

• Ghost crab Ocypode cursor
            Species of interest: Bryozoa
•   Hornera cf. lichenoides
           Species of interest: Echinodermata
•   Diadema sea-urchin (Centrostephanus longispinus), Purple sea star
    (Ophidiaster ophidianus)
           Species of interest: Ichthyofauna
•   Sea groupers (Epinephelus aeneus, E. costae, E. marginatus,
    Mycteroperca rubra), black corb (Sciaena umbra)
                    Species of interest: Reptiles
Turtles: Chelonia mydas and Caretta caretta

                                        Loggerhead turtle - Caretta caretta

Green turtle - Chelonia mydas
           Species of interest: Mammals

Monk Seal: Monachus monachus
(courtesy Goulandris Museum)
                Invasive species

• Caulerpa racemosa
               Marine Protected Areas
• Conservation objectives
      • Protection of vulnerable ecosystems, threatened species and
        marine biodiversity
      • Reservoir for commercial and non-commercial species
      • Refuge for different life history stages (juveniles, change of
        sex) and for fishes of highest fecundity (e.g. large individuals)
      • Conserve genetic diversity of populations (especially with
        respect to max. size)
      • Increase in abundance, size and age of vulnerable species
      • Protect a portion of spawning stock
                Marine Protected Areas
• Fisheries objectives
       • Recovery of depleted stocks (fishes, invertebrates)
       • Recover size-class structure of the exploited species
       • Enhanced fishing in adjacent grounds by restocking (biomass
       • Protect spawning/mating and nursery areas of commercial spp.
       • Increase yield per recruit (when nursery grounds are
       • Increase reproductive output (larval supply) and recruitment to
         external areas
              Marine Protected Areas
• Social objectives
      • Reduce conflicts between user groups on areas of
        coast (artisanal vs. trawl fishing, sportive vs.
        professional fishing…)
      • Preserve natural heritage in the public’s interest
      • Maintain culture diversity (traditional fishing uses)
      • Education and formation (training)
      • Research (naturalness, control/monitoring areas)
      • Beauty and enjoyment for leisure/tourism
        (aesthetic/spiritual value, welfare)
        Marine Protected Areas: Philosophy
•   The establishment of MPA requires regulation of uses in a particular
    area, but it does not necessarily mean the establishment of no-go, no-
    take zones in which all activities are prohibited or heavily regulated.

•   Rather the MPAs can include the establishment of areas where:
     i) fisheries and/or leisure activities are limited for certain periods or
     ii) areas where anchoring is prohibited to prevent damage to fragile
         ecosystems; and/or
     iii) areas where navigation is regulated so as to minimise the threat
         posed by vessel source pollution or of maritime accidents.

•   A crucial factor is the involvement of relevant stakeholders
Management Plan: Preliminary Aspects


      habitats        profesional/sportive fisheries   sea & coastal administrations
      species           leisure/tourism activities     other related administrations
      mapping          local communities, ONGs                   legislation
      Main factors affecting marine and coastal
                      biodiversity in Cyprus
•   Fishing and overfishing,

•   Urban, tourism and industrial
    development of the coastal zone
    impacts habitats and species
    dependent on this zone

•   Leisure-tourism

•   Erosion/coastal works

•   Pollution – especially nutrients

•   Invasive species. Lessepsian
    immigration etc
                   Uses/Impacts study: Fisheries
•   Professional
     – Artisanal
         • Boats/ports: number of boats/port and crew/boat
         • Fishing methods: nets (trammel nets, gill nets), hooks (long-lines), other
           methods (pots, fish attraction devices.)
         • Target species/method (nets, hooks, traps…): periods of fishing; zones/depths
     – Industrial (trawling, purse seine, surface long lines...)
         • Boats (trawlers, purse-seiners)/ports: characteristics of units (GTR, length,
           engine), number of boats/zone and crew/boat
         • Methods: trawl nets (length, horizontal opening, otter boards weight)
•   Sportive
         • Methods: shore line, hand line, long-lines, trammel nets, spearfishing
         • Target-species
         • Others: bait and sea-food collection
Lost fishing nets and long-lines
       Uses/Impacts: Leisure-tourism
• Diving : clubs/zone, diving periods, number/day
     • levels: snorkelling (0-5m), sea-watching; initiation (0-5m) or dive
       bathing; shallow diving (0-20); deep diving (20-40)
     • ‘feeding’ activity
     • wreckage
• Vessel access (boating): number, periods, zones
     • type of activity: glass bottom boats, excursions, guide visits
     • particular boats
     • anchorage zones
• Other leisure activities
     • bathing, beaching, sunning
     • snorkelling
     • bite and organisms collection
• Land access
     • vehicles parking
     • concentration zones (beaching, bathing, excursions, barbecue…)
     • overfrequentation symptoms
            Uses/Impacts: Other activities
•   Public/private works and activities
         • Sewage pipelines (domestic, industrial)
         • Breakwaters, marinas
         • Dredging (sediment dumping)
         • Desalination plants (brine effluents)
         • Aquaculture installations

•   Development projects
         • Urbanisation projects

•   Research and education activities
         • Monitoring zones
         • Nature trips
         • Shore-sea watching
Biodiversity needs in CAMP Cyprus
• The Project Outputs need to include guidelines not only for the management of protected
areas and sites of ecological important but also for the conservation of biodiversity outside
such areas, in accordance, inter alia, with the country’s supranational obligations.
• There is a pressing need, in an island with a limited and precious coastline which is under
severe pressure to have Biodiversity Evaluation as a key component of ICAM in its Tools

• There is a need to test the application of the CAMP Tools in an area of high
marine/coastal value (Pilot Applications)
On strategy, guidelines etc
• The Habitats Directive provides the criteria (priority habitats and species etc)
that need to be used to adequately protect marine/coastal biodiversity in the
member States. “How” i.e., the guidelines elaborated for the conservation of this
biodiversity need to be implemented, inter alia, through the CAMP project
• The provisions of the Barcelona Convention (SPA Protocol) and the Bern
Convention also list the species/habitats that require protection
• Gaps in the existing knowledge of marine biodiversity (spatial etc) need to
• The nature of the marine environment is such that it mandates stakeholder
representation on a very diverse variety of bodies - and in institutional

• The strategy to be followed in the incorporation of marine/coastal biodiversity
concerns in any plan (spatial or other) or programme in the coastal area, implies
that all the available information and concerns need to be taken into consideration
in the formulation stage of any such programme or plan.
Thank you for your attention

To top