IUCN Invites Scuba Diving Clubs to Collaborate in the Monitoring and Identification of Marine Invasive Species

The MedMis program focuses on the control of invasive species in Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas. This program provides its volunteers users with a website, a mobile application, and can be followed on social networks using the hashtags #invasivespecies and #MedMIS

The Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN-Med) will launch this summer, a campaign to promote the involvement of scuba diving clubs, scuba divers federations, professional and recreational divers, water sports enthusiasts and the general public in the monitoring and identification of marine invasive species in the Mediterranean.

This initiative is part of the comprehensive MedMIS plan, which is an online information system designed to monitor and identify exotic invasive species within different Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Mediterranean, considering that some marine invasive species are one of the biggest and most dangerous threats to the biodiversity of this unique ecosystem.

Thus, a large number of nonnative fish species, mollusks, crustaceans and jellyfish became established in more than 180 marine protected areas distributed among 19 coastal countries. These exotic species threaten to displace the local flora and fauna and could hinder management efforts to maintain or restore their ecological integrity.

The local collaborators of the initiative may report casual sighting by using an online platform (www.iucn-medmis.org) and through the free mobile application for iOS and Android, thereby generating a dynamic map which will provide the exact location of the different species observed in the region and will help expand the information available on their distribution, spread and population density. Twitter: @IUCN-Med

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