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Guidelines for impact assessment on seagrass meadows

The Action Plan for the conservation of marine vegetation in the Mediterranean Sea aims, via adequate measures (e.g. the law), to ensure the protection of aquatic plants and marine vegetation, prevent their degradation, and allow them to be maintained in a satisfactory state of conservation.

To carry out this task successfully, it is necessary to gain a better knowledge of the Mediterranean meadows (e.g. their features, their distribution) and the pressure to which they may be subjected, in order to attempt, in a second phase, to reduce these.

Achieving this means :

  • introducing laws to protect species,
  • setting up specially protected areas permitting the meadow habitats to be protected, and
  • strengthening existing regulations, particularly as regards impact studies.

Impact studies in fact aim at making a prospective analysis when a development that could harm the marine environment is under consideration.

Thus RAC/SPA was requested to develop guidelines enabling the Mediterranean countries to carry out these impact studies.

These guidelines are presented in three sections :

  • Marine phanerogam meadows
  • Impact studies in the marine environment
  • Impact studies as a tool for the conservation of marine phanerogam meadows

They aim at :

  • grasping the main features of the meadows and identifying the main dangers to which they are subject,
  • clearly stating the present state of the regulations on impact studies in the marine environment,
  • suggesting the elements which should be taken into account when carrying out an impact study, to reduce the threats to the meadows and permit their conservation.



Mediterranean Symposium on marine vegetation

Within the framework of the scientific research relating to the marine vegetation in the Mediterranean the Action Plan envisages under its paragraph 18 the regular organization (at least every four years) of the Mediterranean Symposium on marine vegetation which aims to give a progress report on scientific data available.