CoCoNET Press Release 23



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.

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