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Villum to Support Oceana Baltic Sea Campaign

03 August 2012

GLOBAL - Oceana acknowledges the generous support of Villum Foundation, which has awarded a twelve month grant to support Oceana’s Baltic Sea recovery programme.

The funds will support the international marine conservation organization efforts to expand the network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in this sea and improve the status of its fisheries resources via long-term management measures.

“We are extremely grateful that Villum Foundation is supporting our campaign to enhance the protection of the Baltic sea ecosystems and to work towards sustainable fisheries in the region”, stated Xavier Pastor, Executive Director for Oceana in Europe. “Oceana’s aim is to achieve a network of MPAs where marine species and habitats are sufficiently protected, with an emphasis on the conservation of threatened biodiversity, and the protection of spawning and breeding grounds for important Baltic fish species. Villum’s support is critical to achieve this goal”.

Oceana campaigns are science-based. Since Oceana opened a Baltic Sea office in Copenhagen in January 2011, the organisation has carried out two at-sea expeditions to document the seabed status with the help of divers and underwater robot (ROV). Cooperation with national scientists and officials from the riparian countries has been key to researching the areas of higher ecological interest.

Using these findings, Oceana aims to detect the shortcomings of the current MPAs network and propose new areas and management measures. The ultimate goal of the policy work developed by the organization campaigners is to achieve an ecologically coherent network of MPAs covering around 30% of the Baltic Sea surface by 2020.

TheFishSite News Desk

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