Coordinated monitoring and management of sea turtle nesting activity in the western Mediterranean through MPA

Nesting events are increasing in the western Mediterranean
  • Grant agreement ID: This project is funded by MAVA Foundation in the framework of the MedPAN Small Projects

  • Total project budget: 16.099,50

  • Start Date: 01/05/2020

    End Date: 31/05/2021

  • Project website:

Project Summary:

The main objective of the COMING project is the use of marine protected areas as a starting point for the management and monitoring of nesting events in the western Mediterranean.

The western Mediterranean is becoming a regular nesting area for the Caretta caretta turtle, as a result of a colonization process, potentially favored by global warming, by individuals from nesting areas in the eastern Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Most of these events take place on beaches with a lot of human activity. This, the lack of common protocols to be applied by management technicians, and the lack of public awareness, leads into damage to eggs and juvenile offspring, nuisance to females, and the impossibility of performing their spawning, as well as the loss of opportunities to gather scientific data. Therefore, it is crucial to establish common management and conservation guidelines, to improve citizen involvement in the management of these events, and carry out a scientific monitoring program that allows the stabilization of these nesting events.

In this context, Marine Protected Areas play a central role in the management and monitoring of these events, as many occur within their boundaries. Consequently, the protocols to be developed within the framework of the project will allow correct management decisions to be taken in these areas, and that these areas at the same time act as main points from which to carry out dissemination and awareness campaigns to improve the detection of events, and the performance of technicians and the general public.


The activities of the project focus on three main axes:

  1. The development of a common strategy for the monitoring and management of nesting events in the western Mediterranean
  2. Scientific studies about the origin and viability of these events, including studies of beach temperature profiles that allow to know the viability of the same to host spawning, and genetic studies to know the region of origin of the breeding specimens
  3. Raising awareness activities on the biology and nesting process of Caretta caretta to involve citizens in the management of these event

The marine protected areas initially involved in the project are: Costas del Maresme (Catalonia), Delta de l’Ebre (Catalonia), Costa degli Infreschi e della Masseta (Italy), Santa Maria di Castellabate (Italy) and Isole Pelagie ( Italy). However, the protocols and results of the COMING project will be extended to other marine protected areas at European level interested in applying them.

Partners: Universitat de Barcelona i Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (Itàlia)

Associated Partners: Estación Biológica de Doñana (EBD-CSIC).

universitat-de-barcelona      Anton-dohrn