An international workshop on Marine Important Bird Areas in Malta and the Mediterranean was held between the 23rd – 25th November 2015 by the LIFE+ Malta Seabird Project and BirdLife International. The workshop was a key opportunity to gather knowledge and experience on protecting seabirds across national borders and international waters of the Mediterranean, as well as setting the path for international collaborations in protecting our common seabird heritage.

Within the Mediterranean seabirds face threats both on land and at sea, such as overfishing, by-catch, invasive predators, habitat destruction from poor planning and marine pollution. However only 4% of the Mediterranean is currently protected through the EU Natura 2000 network in Europe and the Barcelona Convention’s Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance. At a regional scale there are still many important gaps to fill in the protected area network for seabirds, particularly for sites at sea. The meeting enabled scientists, nature conservationists and policy makers to further coordinate efforts for seabird protection at a regional scale through capacity building and the sharing of specialist knowledge.

cc Tim Lenz, @Flickr

cc Tim Lenz, @Flickr