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A new voluntary fund for the protection of marine mammals by Pelagos Agreement.

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

Monaco has been at the center of a tripartite commitment to the protection of marine mammals for a long time. Many marine mammals of the Mediterranean basin in fact are used to gathering in the waters among the French Riviera (Côte d'Azur), the Italian Riviera (Riviera des Fiori), the Tuscany coastline, Sardinia and Corse (87,500 sq. km). This stretch of sea is rich in nutrients and their presence is essential in determining the good state of waters and in combating the rise in temperatures due to their ability to absorb large amounts of CO2, as shown by many scientific studies. Thus, the Pelagos Agreement, founded on November 1999, gave life to the Sanctuary of the Mediterranean marine mammals, entered into force in February 2002 with the aim to establish a coordinated action plan among three states: Monaco, France and Italy. In fact, many are the risks to which these emblematic species are subjected as a consequence of the anthropic activity. Notably: pollution, noise, accidental capture while fishing, injuries, urbanisation disruption and many more, including climate change. In 2022, Pelagos Agreement has launched an additional tool to make its mission even more effective: the Fonds Volontaire Pelagos (Pelagos Voluntary Fund).

Photo >> Pelagos Sanctuary map © Pelagos Sanctuary

This innovative item will support prior tripartite initiatives within the new Management Plan through both funding from the Member States of the Agreement and donations from individuals and citizens. All this by fostering the "Plan d'Action Pelagos 2022-2027" (Pelagos Action Plan, 2022-2027). The Fund can already benefit from a total of half a million euros thanks to the contributions of Ministry of Ecological Transition for France, the Ministry of Environment and Energy Security for Italy, the Department of External Relations and Cooperation for the Government of Monaco and Nage Libre France association. The amount reached is intended to strengthen cooperation activities, to develop the creation of an underwater noise risk map and to implement communication as well as reinforcing the fundraising strategy to push the Agreement governance. These actions represent important pieces in the puzzle of conservation of the marine ecosystem of the Sanctuary.

Photo >> The Executive Secretary of the Pelagos Agreement attended the Fifth International Congress on Marine Protected Areas (IMPAC5) which took place from the 3th to the 9th February 2023 in Vancouver © Pelagos Sanctuary

Any support to the Pelagos Sanctuary is definitely a significant act considering that about 8,500 macroscopic marine fauna usually frequent the area, representing between 4% and 18% of marine species worldwide. A treasure of biodiversity among the most important of the whole Mediterranean area. Therefore, the need to promote actions that involve local communities and policy-makers, with a multidisciplinary added value. Not by chance, The Sanctuary is considered as an area of cultural, educational and socio-economic interest, being acknowledged as a “Specially Protected Area of Mediterranean Importance” (ASPIM) recognised by the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution and the United Nations Environment Programme. ***


Anyone who wish to support the protection of whales, dolphins and monk seals and their habitats can make a donation to the Pelagos Sanctuary by contacting the Permanent Secretariat directly at:

It will soon be possible to make a donation on the Accord website with a single click via:


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By Maurice Abbati

Springer International Publishing

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