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The Ischia Declaration: managing bioinvasions in the Mediterranean Sea, the way forward

The number of recorded non indigenous species (NIS) in the Mediterranean Sea is far higher than in other European Seas. A EuroMarine workshop, entitled ‘Management of Bioinvasions in the Mediterranean Sea: the way forward’, addressed this issue by discussing a framework for a comprehensive action plan to manage NIS under the unique conditions of the Mediterranean Sea.

The workshop, organised and co-convened by Maria Cristina Gambi, a Senior Researcher at Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Napoli, was held in Ischia, Italy from 4-5 May 2016. The workshop participants formulated the ‘Ischia Declaration’, a document calling for specific strategic actions focused on effective science-based transboundary management of bioinvasions to reduce the risk of new introductions and the further spread of NIS already present in the Mediterranean Sea. Though States are responsible for ensuring that activities within their jurisdiction do not damage the environment of other States, effective management of marine NIS in the Mediterranean Sea depends on policy coordination with the Regional Sea Convention (Barcelona Convention). Prof. Bella Galil, workshop convener and a Senior Scientist at the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Tel Aviv University, said: “The number of non-indigenous species, far higher in the Mediterranean than in other European seas, doubled between 1980 and 2016. The sea’s shallow water biota, including important marine protected areas, has already been altered by the negative ecological, economic and human health impacts arising from bioinvasions. We call on the Parties to the Barcelona Convention to take immediate effective measures to protect the sea from further bioinvasions.” For more information on this workshop, please visit or view the Ischia Declaration at: The workshop report can be downloaded from the Societa' Italiana di Biologia Marina (SIBM) website: or viewed online: See more about the EuroMarine network at or follow EuroMarine on twitter (@Euromarine_tw). Notes for editors Photo caption: Participants at the Managing Bioinvasions workshop in Ischia, Italy, in May 2016. EuroMarine is a European, marine science network launched in 2014. It represents the merger of the scientific communities of three former European Networks of Excellence: EUR-OCEANS, Marine Genomics Europe, and MarBEF. It was designed by the EuroMarine preparatory project (2011-13; funded under the seventh European Framework Programme) and has grown to 73 member organisations in 2016. EuroMarine, with its limited budget supports scientific and training activities aimed at bringing together teams to share, collaborate and collectively push boundaries. Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn financially and logistically managed the workshop. AquaTT undertakes communications work for the EuroMarine network.


bioinvasions, marine science, ecosystem management, Mediterranean, action plan, transboundary management


Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, United Kingdom