On 18 October, the Spanish government purposed the creation of 41 marine Special Protection Areas (SPAs). Once designated, this will be the first complete national network of marine SPAs in Europe based on solid and specifically directed research, posing a model for other countries. Previous experiences were restricted to small, coastal sites, or areas in enclosed seas such as the North Sea, but had missed offshore waters in the Atlantic Ocean.
With this very good new we open the FAME blog, a blog that aims to spread the actions related with the FAME project and the marine protection and management actions conducted in the Atlantic area.
Deeping into the Spanish issue, the Spanish Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM) proposal mirrors the marine Important Bird Areas (IBA) inventory elaborated by SEO/BirdLife via EC funded LIFE Project Marine IBAs in Spain (2004-2009) and complemented via LIFE+ INDEMARES. Only three of the 44 areas have been left aside, as their limits extend beyond Spanish waters and new limits for the SPAs have to be studied. One of such areas is the Strait of Gibraltar, within the Atlantic Area.
FAME project has contributed to the lobby action necessary for this achievement. Moreover, it will largely contribute to gain the necessary knowledge and liaison with the stakeholders for the management of the new SPAs, as well as to the management of the entire Atlantic marine environment.