HIGH SEA GOVERNANCE AND PROECTION MEASURES OF THE HIGH SEAS IN THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN SEA
SPAMI PROPOSALS FOR FİNİKE (ANAXIMANDER) AND MEDITERRANEAN (ERATOSTHANES) SEAMOUNTS IN THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN SEA.
SPA/BD Protocol is one of the instrument for the Marine Protected areas and Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI). This protocol is adopted in 1995. Besides, SAB-BIO adopted in 2003 by the Barcelona Convention contracting parties and mentioned that setting up of protected areas offshore ( including high seas) to protect pelagic ecosystem and sensitive species and seamounts and submarine canyons should be a priority. Appropriate SPAMI list(s) can be an important instruments for the designation of the MPS’s offshore in international waters
The Finike (Anaximander) Seamount, formed by an older group of continental fragments now caught up in the plate convergence between Africa and Eurasia, are an important area for active mud volcanism and gas hydrate formation. They are described as large faulted and tilted blocks that originally were geologically continuous with SW Turkey.
Mud volcanoes, seeps and vents specific seep-associated fauna (e.g. tubeworms, bivalves and chemosynthetic bacteria.
This area is a major spawning ground for pelagic fishes seems to be located near between the Antalya eddy and the Rhodes Gyre, which is one of the most distinct features of the Levantine basin. Also, many deep sea fish species of which the status are not yet evaluated by IUCN were sampled from this area, together with highly commercial deep-sea shrimps. Abralia veranyi, a deep sea cephalopod and a preferable prey of the striped and Risso’s dolphins was sampled from the area. This area is important for marine mammals since such environments have rich and diverse pelagic ecosystem such as Sperm whales.
Mediterranean Seamount (Eratosthenes) is relatively poorly known in term of marine biodiversity but divere fauna such as scleractinian corals, deepwaters crustaceans, sponges and others. Besides GFCM also has issued recommendations for the Eratosthanes Seamounth in the eastern Mediterranean and fisheries has been already banned according to the GFCM recommendation number 2006/3 on the establishment of fisheries restricted areas in order to protect the deep sea sensitive ecosystem. Nevertheless, IUU fisheries, ship originated pollution and recently Offshore exploration and exploitation is main threat for such a pristine habitat. Oil and gas exploration activities need to be banned in this unique area. Finike and Mediterranean seamounts are isolated underwater islands in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and need to protection stepping stones characters from sea to the coastal areas.SPAMI can be solution for two important seamount in tern of the protection.