Legislation currently in force per country
Apart from the international commitments and directives listed in the section Protection Levels, Albania has not passed further national
laws concerning the protection of Posidonia oceanica and/or its specific safeguard from anchoring.
-Law n° 64 of 2012 on fishing and fisheries. Law ratified to ban fishing with trawl fishing net, dragons, traps, kettles and similar nets, especially where Posidonia oceanica is present.
Besides the international commitments and directives, Algeria has a relatively new law for the conservation of marine vegetation establishing the list of protected non-cultivated species but not passed further national laws concerning the protection of Posidonia oceanica and/or its specifical safeguard from anchoring.
–Executive Decree n° 12-03 of 201222. This decree, establishing the list of protected uncultivated plant species, cites directly the Posidonia oceanica species as endangered species in the appendix to this decree. According to Article 4, are prohibited: destruction, cutting, mutilation, uprooting, gathering of plants of these species or of their fructifications, or of any other form taken by these species during their biological cycle, their transport, their use, their putting for sale, sale or purchase, as well as the detention of specimens taken from their natural environment.
-Law n° 02-02 of February 5, 2002 relating to the protection and enhancement of the coastline. Article 10 stipulates that the occupation and use of coastal land must preserve land and sea areas that are remarkable or necessary to maintain natural balances, including sites of ecological interest or of scientific value on the coast, such as coral reefs, seagrass beds and underwater coastal forms or formations.
Besides the international commitments and directives, including the prohibition of anchoring of the Nature Protection Act, Croatia has some regulations for the protection of Posidonia oceanica and its habitat:
-Zakon o zaštiti prirode NN 80/13
–Pravilnik o strogo zaštićenim vrstama NN 144/2013(Ordinance on Strictly Protected Species OG 144/2013)
–Pravilnik o strogo zaštićenim vrstama NN73/2016(Ordinance on Strictly Protected Species OG 73/2016)
-Zakon o zaštiti prirode NN15/2018. Article 153 (OG 15/18):
(1) Deliberate picking, cutting, felling, excavation, collection or destruction of individuals of strictly protected plants, fungi, lichens and algae from nature in their natural area of distribution is prohibited.
(2) The following actions with strictly protected animals from nature in their natural area of distribution are prohibited:
- All forms of deliberate capture or killing
Deliberate harassment, especially during breeding, rearing, hibernation and migration.
- Deliberate destruction or taking of eggs and their storage, even if empty.
- Intentional destruction, damage or removal of their developmental forms, nests or litters.
- Damage or destruction of their breeding or resting areas.
(3) It is prohibited to keep, transport, sell, exchange and offer for sale or exchange live or dead individuals from the nature of strictly protected species referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article, and in the case of birds, the said prohibitions also apply to any easily recognizable part or derivative thereof.
–Zakon o zaštiti prirode NN14/2019
–Zakon o zaštiti prirode NN127/2019
-In the Ordinance on the list of habitat types and habitat map OG 27/21 “Pravilnik o popisu stanišnih tipova i karti staništa NN 27/21”, The Habitat type Posidonia beds is included in Annex II, List of endangered and/or rare habitat types of national and European significance present on the territory of the Republic of Croatia and in the Annex III, List of natural habitat types of the European Union interest present on the territory of the Republic of Croatia. September 2021 Document No. 20144905/13206 32
Apart from the international commitments and directives, Cyprus has not passed further national laws concerning the protection of Posidonia oceanica and/or its specific safeguard from anchoring.
It is noted that through the national Fisheries Legislation, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are designated with prohibitions on fisheries and vessel passage and anchorage. At present there are 5 MPAs and 7 MPAs with Artificial Reefs in Cyprus with such prohibitions.
Apart from the international commitments and directives, Egypt has not passed further national laws concerning the protection of Posidonia oceanica and/or its specific safeguard from anchoring.
The most relevant legal law for nature conservation in Egypt is:
– Law 4 of 1994 for the Protection of the Environment Amended by Law 9/2009, became the primary legislation for environmental management, creating the Nature Conservation Sector for management of Egypt’s protected areas. The following legislation instruments are of particular relevance indirectly to nature conservation in Egypt:
-Law 102 of 1983 for Nature Protectorates
The law provides the legislative framework and management of protected areas in Egypt which are defined as, «any area of land coastal or inland water characterized by special flora, fauna and natural features, having cultural, scientific, tourism or aesthetic value». With growing awareness of importance of managing resource use to sustain development, as well as awareness of rapid environmental degradation, increased attention was given to environmental protection.
– Law 124 of 1983 regulating fisheries.
Forced by the General Authority for Fish Resources Development
For yachts >45m:
Decree No. :Decree No 025/2023 of February 24, 2023
Decree No: Decree No 36/2023 of March 8, 2023
Decree No. 123/2019 of June 03, 2019: gives the general framework
From the mouth of the Var river to the limits of the French, Monegasque and Italian territorial waters
From the pointe de l’Aiguille to the mouth of the Var river
vessels of 20 meters and over
vessels of 24 meters and over
From the old port of Saint-Raphaël to the pointe de l’Aiguille
From the Cap Pinet to the pointe de Saint Aygulf
From the Cap Bénat to the pointe lof the Bonne Terrasse
From the Cap Carqueiranne to the Cap Bénat
From the pointe Fauconnière to the cap Cépet
Perimeter of the La Ciotat bay
Perimeter of the Calanques National Park
Perimeter of the N2000 site « côte bleue marine »
Off the coast of the Hérault department
Off the coast of the Pyrénées-Orientales department
Perimeter of the Bouches de Bonifacio reserve
Perimeter of Belgodère to Roccapina
Perimeter of the Natural Marine Park of the Cap Corse
Perimeter of Bastia to Porto-Vecchio
(If any doubt, anchor more than 30 m deep in the french Riviera and 40 m in Corsica (limit of the presence of Posidonia oceanica)
Official source for maps: https://data.shom.fr
Regulations and Posidonia also available on the free App DONIA
Control and regulation
The Maritime Prefect leads and coordinates the action of the administrations at sea and the implementation of their resources. It is under his coordination that the anchorage control policy will be implemented. This policy will be smart and take into account local situations. The Prefecture Maritime has full confidence in the sense of responsibility of French and foreign captains. Nevertheless, bad faith and abuses will be systematically dealt rigorously and firmly.
Sanctions can be up to 150 000 euros fine, 3 years prison and the ban to navigate in the French territorial waters.
Beside the international commitments and directives listed above, Greece has passed the following national laws concerning the protection of Posidonia oceanica. None of them is specific for safeguarding the meadows from anchoring.
-Law n° 3937/2011 (Official Journal 60/A/2011, art. 9) on Biodiversity Conservation The establishment and operation of fish farm units over Posidonia meadows are prohibited within Natura 2000 sites.
-Decision 31722/2011 (Official Journal 2505/B/2011) Framework of Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development for aquaculture. The establishment and operation of any aquaculture units over Posidonia meadows are prohibited within Natura 2000 sites.
-Decision 167378/2007 (Official Journal 241/D/2007) Implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1967/2006 (concerning management measures for the sustainable exploitation of fishery resources in the Mediterranean Sea). Definition of marine areas with Posidonia oceanica meadows within the Natura 2000 network where fishing with towed gears is prohibited.
-Decision 2886/14244/2019 (Official Journal 241/D/2007) Definition of additional marine areas with Posidonia oceanica meadows outside the Natura 2000 network where fishing with towed gears is prohibited.
-Joint Ministerial Decision 33318/3028 (Official Journal 1289/1998) Definition of measures and processes for the conservation of natural habitats and of wild flora and fauna, with reference to Posidonia.
-Law 4607 (Official Journal 65/A/2019) Amendment of Law 2971/2001 on the use of seashore that also defines the required process for the issuance of permits and for the installation of moorings.
-Decision 4065/330700 (Official Journal 6/B/2020)Amendment of Decision 6719/146097/29.12.2016 of the Minister of Agricultural Development and Foods «Establishment of management plan for the fishery gear “winch trawls” for fishing Spicara smaris and Boops boops in particular areas in Greek waters» (Β 4348).
-Decision 28990/358 (Official Journal 181/D/2019) Approval of the amendment of the Regional Spatial Plan of the North Aegean Region and environmental approval of the plan.
-Decision 142569 (Official Journal 4728/B/2017) Programmatic measures for achieving or sustaining favorable conservation status of marine waters, based on paragraph 9 article 12 of Law 3983/2011 (Α’ 144).
-Decision 126635 (Official Journal 3799/B/2016) Approval of monitoring programs for the continuous assessment of the environmental status of marine waters, based on article 11 of Law 3983/2011 (Α’ 144).
-Decision 1175 (Official Journal 2939/B/2012) Approval of environmental targets and indices for marine waters, based on paragraph 3 article 10 of Law 3983/2011 (Α’ 144)
Apart from the international commitments and directives cited in 11.2.1, Italy has not passed further national laws concerning the protection of Posidonia oceanica
Other informations about specific safeguard from anchoring and Marine Protected Areas (MPA).:
- Italian Marine Protected Areas and the management of the Natura 2000.
- Regulation implementing Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural and semi-natural habitats, as well as wild flora and fauna.
A summary list of key laws and decisions that have been issued since the establishing of Marine wealth sector
is given below:
-Law n° 14 of 1989. Basic legislation concerning the regulation of the use and conservation of marine wealth. It deals with the type of equipment, both local and imported, allowed for marine fishing, the sizes of fish/species and other marine organisms allowed to be caught, and issues relating to the supervision and control of the industry regarding safety issues.
-Secretariat of Marine Wealth (SMW) Decision n° 71 of 1990 It elaborates the provisions of Law No. 14 and the procedures governing its application, SMW Decision n° 80 of 1991, which provides technical explanations and specifications for the implementation of Law n° 14.
-Law n° 15 of 2003. It replaced Law n° 7 of 1982, concerning environmental protection. In this Law, Chapter 3 contains 21 articles, comprehensively covering marine fisheries and marine wealth conservation, identifying the means and procedures necessary for the protection of fish stock, and banning the dumping of oils and other pollutants from vessels into the sea and the discharge of land-based sewage and industrial water into the marine environment. It also prohibits the use of explosives, radioactive and other poisonous substances for fishing, and bans dredging for sponges. It also provides for the demarcation of marine reservations for the preservation of threatened marine organisms.
Besides the international commitments and directives listed above which are transposed to the Maltese national legislation, Malta has a national law for the Posidonia oceanica conservation which is included in the list of plant species of national interest whose conservation requires the designation of special areas of conservation.
-The Flora, Fauna and Natural Habitats Protection Regulations (S.L. 549.44). Under S.L. 549.44, Malta has committed, under S.L. 549.44 to take appropriate steps, including conservation measures, to avoid the deterioration of Posidonia oceanica, to maintain/attain a favourable conservation status of the habitat, also through conservation measures, to avoid the deterioration of Posidonia if such disturbance can be significantly affecting the status of Posidonia.
-The Water Policy Framework Regulations S.L. 549.100. Posidonia oceanica is a Biological Quality Element representing the quality of coastal waters as per requirements of the EU WFD. As such, there is the need to avoid deterioration of the status of Posidonia at the coastal water body level under the WFD, as transposed in to Malta’s legislation through S.L. 549.100.
Malta has not passed national laws concerning the specific safeguard of Posidonia oceanica from anchoring.
Posidonia is protected at national level within the framework of the Sovereign Order n° 3.131, mentioned above. In fact, the Article n° 244-8 states that ” With regard to the protected plant species referred to in paragraph one of this article, and their parts and derivatives, subject to the exceptions provided below, any form of destruction or disturbance, including picking, is also prohibited, the harvesting, cutting, uprooting, holding, trade, transport and display for commercial purposes of these species. The aforementioned exceptions can only be granted by the Minister of State for the purposes of scientific research, or when he has been authorized to carry out work affecting the ecosystem of these species, subject to their restoration”. Similarly, the Article n° 244-14 of the same text indicates that bottom trawl fishing activities and other similar gear are prohibited on Posidonia or other phanerogam meadows.
There is no legal text dedicated to the protection of Posidonia from anchorage, but the activity itself is controlled through the Code of the Sea. Therefore, the Article n° 700-3 defines the areas where anchoring is prohibited, which appear on the charts and the Article n° 700-4 specifies that “the static presence of any vessel or craft may be prohibited from time to time by decision of the Director of Maritime Affairs, with a notice to mariners” on a pre-identified area and that any offence relating in particular to the regulation of mooring and anchorage may give rise to fines, or in case of recidivism within a period of less than one year to prison sentences (Art. 770-1). In addition, the Article n° 230-3 specifies the penalties and fines provided for offenders of Sovereign Orders or Ministerial Orders relating on navigation and anchorage, on the practice of fishing activities, the capture of marine species, and on any act that is likely to impact the conservation of marine fauna or flora, and that disturbs the marine environment or damages the soil or subsoil or any structures that may be established therein. Finally, Article n° 244-11 makes mandatory the use of the studies of impacts on the marine environment for activities that may have an impact on the environment. All protected species (including Posidonia) are specifically targeted by these impact studies, with an initial state of the environment, an impact assessment and the implementation of an “Avoid – Reduce – Compensate” procedure.
Apart from the international commitments and directives, Montenegro has not passed further national laws concerning the protection of Posidonia oceanica and/or its specific safeguard from anchoring.
The most relevant legal laws for nature conservation in Montenegro are:
-Law on Nature Protection (“Official Gazette of the Government of Montenegro”, n° 54/16). Major legislative act for the protection of Species. Articles 89-90 refer to the establishment of the list of strictly protected and protected wild species of plants, animals and fungi for which the Law prescribes specific management measures and procedures. In this two Acts, anchoring is not mentioned as a separate activity, but it can be considered as a way to damage protection species what is not allowed according to the Law.
-Decree on the protection of certain flora and fauna species (Official Gazette, MNE, n° 76/0656). In 2006, a national list of the Protected Animal and Plant Species has been updated. In this Resolution on protection on certain plant and animal species forbids to remove from their habitat, damage or destroy, hunt, disturb, catch or kill any of the plant and animal species listed, as well as their developmental stages, lairs and nests; their habitats are not to be damaged or destroyed including Posidonia oceanica.
Apart from the international commitments and directives, Slovenia has not passed further national laws concerning the protection of Posidonia oceanica and/or its specifical safeguard from anchoring
At national level, Posidonia oceanica meadows (habitat type 1120) is protected according to Royal Decree 12/7/1995, BOE n° 310.
-In Junta de Andalucía: Decree 23/2012, 14th February, for the regulation on habitats, wild flora and fauna conservation and sustainable management Posidonia oceanica is included in the List of Wildlife Species in Special Protection Regime.
-In Catalonia: Order 91.210.098 (DOGC no. 1479, page 4395, dated 8/12/1991), where all species of marine phanerogams present on the coast are declared protected
– In Valencia: Order of January 23, 1992 to regulate activities on seagrass meadows. Law 5/2017, of February 10, on maritime fishing and aquaculture of the Valencian Community. ; It is forbidden aquaculture facilities over Posidonia.
-In Balearic Islands:
- PRUG (Master Plan for Use and Management, published in the BOIB No. 196 of 31)
- Decree 25/2018 of July 27, on the conservation of Posidonia oceanica in the Balearic Islands
- Law 2/2017, of June 27, declaring the Es Trenc- Maritime-Terrestrial Natural Park
Salobrar de Campos SCI ES0000083 management plan (northern section).
- Decree 27/2007, of March 30, 2007, which approves the Management Plan of the Place of Community Importance (SCI) Cabrera Archipelago – Coastal Area section of Migjorn de Mallorca (ES0000083)
- Natural Resources Management Plan (PORN): Decree 19/2007 of March 16, by the that the Plan for the Management of Natural Resources of the Serra de Tramuntana is approved (BOIB No. 54 ext, of April 11, 2007). Management plan and ZEC declaration of the Serra de Tramuntana.
- Decree 49/2015, of May 22, approving the Natura 2000 Management Plan of the Serra de Tramuntana.
- Decree 31/2007, of March 30, approving the Management Plan of the Place of Community Importance (SCI) Bays of Pollença and Alcúdia (ES5310005).
- Decree 36/2007, of March 30, approving the Management Plan of the Place of Community Importance (SCI) Costa de Levante de Mallorca (ES5310030).
Decree 26/2007, of March 30, paper that approves the Management Plan of the Place of Community Importance (SCI) Marine Area of Sur de Menorca (ES5310036) LIC ES5310075 – Arenal de Son Saura, LIC ES5310036 – South Ciutadella Marine Area.
Ibiza and Formentera
Decree 38/2007, of March 30, 2007, approving the Plan of Management of the Place of Community Importance (LIC) Tagomago (ES0000082).
- ZEC 0000084 Ses Salines de Ibiza and Formentera – Decree 48/2015, of 22 de May, which approves the Natura 2000 Management Plan for the Salinas de Ibiza
and Formentera The natural park of Las Salinas, includes different anchoring areas that are
described in the regulations (Decree 132/2005, of December 23, which establishes
approves the Master Plan for the Use and Management of the Ses Salines Natural Park
d’Eivissa i Formentera, article 117).
Tunisia has no specific regulation on the protection of Posidonia oceanica against anchoring. The following legal texts include provisions that could be used for protecting Posidonia meadows:
-Law on Marine and Coastal Protected area n° 49 of 2009. This Law provides for the declaration and management of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas to protect endangered species and habitats.
-Law on fishing and its related circulars issued by the Ministry of Agriculture n° 13 of 1994. This Law forbids the use of towed fishing gear in areas with less than 50m depth and at less than 3 miles distance from the coast.
-Law on the Code of Forest n° 20 of 1988. Although dedicated for the conservation of forests, this Law provides for the declaration of National Parks and Nature Reserves. One Nature Reserves that includes Posidonia meadows was declared in Tunisia in pursuance of this Law.
-Decree on Environmental Impact Assessments n° 1991 of 2005. According to this Decree the environmental authority in Tunisia can require mitigation measures for any development or facility likely to have negative impacts on Posidonia Meadows.
Besides the international commitments and directives cited in 19.2.1, Turkey has a regulation for the protection of Posidonia oceanica against anchoring:
-Law on “aquatic products” (Ref. n° 1380). Turkish regulation covering Posidonia oceanica protection under the professional (4/1) and recreational (4/2) Fisheries Circulars.
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