Strait of Sicily

Blue tuna and SwordfishThe Strait of Sicily is located between Sicily and Tunisia and has a high primary productivity with high values of biodiversity due to the moderate depths, singular hydrography and the variety of habitat types. Prominent features include deep coral assemblages, cold seep communities, rare habitat formers (such as calcareous algae and animals which form the so called coralligen), rare or endemic species (such as Maltese ray), high habitat heterogeneity, spawning and nursery grounds for several fish (i.e. bluefin tuna and sword fish), persistent hotspots of diversity of demersal species, and large fluxes of Atlantic and Indo-Pacific exotic species. Most important human uses of the area are fishing, aquaculture, conservation, shipping and tourism. Other important uses are oil drilling and extraction, deployment of gas pipelines and communication cables, and construction of wind-mill farms.
Currently there is no integrated spatial management plan in the area.

Aim of Case Study
We will assess the potential for the implementation of a spatial management plan in the Strait of Sicily in order to minimize conflicts between users.
The main objectives are first, to ensure and organize stakeholder participation and second, to ensure protection of fragile and important areas by managing their uses, and to pressure ecosystem functions and services.  

Case Study report

Vega Fernández T, Pace ML, Badalamenti F, D’Anna G, Fiorentino F, Garofalo G, Gristina M, Knittweis L, Mirto M, Pipitone C (2012). Application of the MESMA Framework. Case Study: Strait of Sicily. MESMA report, 320 pp