Parliamentary questions
4 October 2017
Question for oral answer
to the Commission
Rule 128
Alain Cadec, on behalf of the Committee on Fisheries
Adina-Ioana Vălean, on behalf of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

 Subject: Protection of coastal marine habitats: the case of Posidonia oceanica

Coastal marine habitats are essential for converting carbon dioxide into oxygen, for the productivity of marine resources, for coastal protection and for the other critical ecological services that they provide to mankind and other species. However, these habitats are under great anthropogenic pressure, whether of direct human origin or as a consequence of global climate change, and some of them are even regressing. In order to counter these effects, the European Union has funded major studies and conservation and recovery programmes.

Endemic to the Mediterranean Sea, the seagrass Posidonia oceanica is one of the most enduring and most productive species in the biosphere, and forms part of an important ecosystem for maintaining biodiversity. Nevertheless, its population has dramatically declined in the last few decades, due to dredging and trawling, coastal development, eutrophication and other forms of pollution, climate change and mechanical damage from boat anchoring. Posidonia oceanica grows very slowly and takes a long time to recover once destroyed. It is therefore one of the most threatened sea grass species. Promoting environmental education and raising awareness about the importance of protecting it are essential tools to counter its regression.

1. Does the Commission have data on the evolution of coastal marine habitats?

2. How does the Commission assess the investments made through its programmes?

3. What additional measures does the Commission intend to put in place in the future specifically to protect and recover Posidonia oceanica?

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