Since 2004, the Pelagos Sanctuary has operated according to a Management Plan. This means that the area covered by the Agreement can be managed in a sustainable manner.

The Management Plan combines the contributions of each of the Parties with practical measures to follow and implement as a means of managing the Sanctuary space as a whole. This overarching management structure means that issues will be considered:

  • in terms of the ecosystem – variables will be addressed in relation to their natural environment and socio-economic context;
  • dynamically – the measures carried out as part of the action plan will be continually evaluated and modified according to the results obtained;
  • from a functional perspective – the approach used should make it easier for different organizations to work together.

The natural variables involved correspond to the area’s ecological factors (light, hydrodynamics, hydrostatic pressure, temperature, salinity, benthic substrate etc.), to the interaction between organisms as well as to the structure and function of marine ecosystems: open seas, upwellings, neritic zones, hydrodynamics, estuaries, canyons etc.

The anthropogenic variable should also be considered here: polluting substances (urban and industrial chemical pollution), non-native species, exploitation of the ecosystems (socio-economic variable: fishing, aqua-farming, use of biodiversity), coastal area development and water-based travel for commercial purposes, tourism, sports and similar activities (whale-watching).

The Management Plan also takes into account actions implemented as part of other Agreements and international programs (ACCOBAMS, RAMOGE, UNEP/MAP).

The Management Plan was developed in several stages:

  • a detailed summary was drawn up and adopted by the Contracting Parties (February 2003);
  • a specialist, Dr Virginie Tilot, was appointed to draw up the Management Plan, and a long-running survey of the people and groups that form the Sanctuary’s socio-economic element was conducted;
  • a special task force, made up of three or four representatives from each Party, was created to monitor and provide support to Dr Tilot in her work throughout the survey and drafting phase;
  • draft submitted in December 2003;
  • plan finalized in the spring of 2004;
  • plan adopted at the Second Meeting of the Contracting Parties of the Agreement in Elba on September 15th, 2004.

In its adoption and implementation of the Management Plan, the Pelagos Sanctuary thus developed a new approach, based on frequent and effective international cooperation, with the lasting aim of enabling marine mammals to live alongside humans in an environment that is favorable to them.

To make this lengthy document easier to read, a special task force, made up one representative from each Party, prepared a working summary ( pdf FR , pdf IT ) that lists all the management measures proposed in the plan.

ACCOBAMS: Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area  

Ramoge Agreement: Agreement between France, Monaco and Italy to protect the coast between Marseille in France and La Spezia in Italy

UNEP/MAP: Mediterranean Action Plan developed as a result of the 1975 Barcelona Convention, under the framework of the United Nations Environment Program