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06/24: Recap of the CORMON Meeting on Biodiversity and Fisheries

Coralligenous5 ©SPARAC, University of Sevilla

The Meeting of theEcosystem Approach Correspondence Group on Monitoring (CORMON) Biodiversity and Fisheries was organized online by SPA/RAC on June 6-7, 2024.






This event brought together 13 Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, along with several observers and components of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP).

Here are the main takeaways from the meeting.

Development of IMAP Ecological Objectives

  1. Ecological Objective 6 (EO6): Sea-floor Integrity
    • The meeting decided to maintain EO6 as a distinct objective from EO1 (biodiversity), despite their close interrelation, and to optimize and integrate the monitoringand data collection processes for both objectives.
    • Participants reviewed the latest proposal on EO6, developed between 2022 and 2023, and agreed to submit it to the EcAp Coordination Group for consideration in October 2024.
  2. EcologicalObjective 4 (EO4): Marine Food Webs
    • The key findings of the inventory on best practices and methodologies for monitoring marine foodwebs in the Mediterranean were discussed.
    • Italy proposed to extend the existing working group on marine food web monitoring, established under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), to include Mediterranean experts and SPA/RAC to work on the EO4.

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Ecological Objectives

Common Indicatorsfor Marine Habitats in IMAP

  1. IC1 and IC2: Benthic Habitats
    • The meeting reviewed the main results of a study on the implementation of indicators IC1(habitat distributional range) and IC2 (Condition of the habitat’s typical species and communities), conducted between 2022 and 2023.
    • A dedicated working group on benthic habitats (Posidonia meadows, coralligenous habitats, and maërl beds) will be established to provide technical and operational guidance.
    • It was recommended to mobilize a consultant to assist SPA/RAC in coordinating efforts and preparing assessment methodologies for these indicators.
  2. Phytoplanktonand Zooplankton: Pelagic Habitats
    • The meeting agreed to mandate the multidisciplinary group of experts on pelagic habitats to progress in developing indicators using phytoplankton and zooplankton for pelagic habitats.

IMAP Revision and Climate Change Impacts Issues

  1. Integrating Climate Change Impacts
    • Instead of creating a new ecological objective specifically for climate change, it was agreed to integrate climate aspects into existing EOs and ICs.
  2. Updating IMAP
    • Elements for revising IMAP, related to biodiversity and NIS, were presented and will be used for the future update of this framework.

The meeting called on the Contracting Parties to actively support the Ecosystem Approach Roadmap Policy revision, and the biodiversity and fisheries IMAP updating process.


Detailed conclusions and recommendations adopted during the meeting are available in both French and English.

All meeting documents will be finalized following the receipt of the final comments from the Contracting Parties and will soon be available on the SPA/RAC website.