Environmental education and research in the coastal areas of Al-Hoceima province, Morocco
|Africa, Birds, Fish, Fisheries, Marine, Turtles
|1 Mar 2002
Although it is one of the poorest provinces of the northern Morocco, the province of Al Hoceima hosts one of the most astonishing coastal biodiversity clusters of all the Mediterranean. The almost forty kilometres of steep rocky cliffs dropping into the sea are home to hundreds of pairs of endangered bird species, and create an unbelievable submarine landscape hosting hundreds of species from the smallest invertebrates to the rare Monk Seal.
The area is almost untouched by humans from the land because of the steepness of the cliffs, but there is a large fleet of commercial fishing vessels which ply this coast. This coastal core area is currently covered by a weak provincial protection status and together with other relevant marine zones of the province, act as a ‘lung’ for the commercial fish stocks targeted, and several important nursery areas have been identified. Due to the weak protection status and the lack of proper monitoring, the access of damaging bottom trawlers and the use of explosives for fishing is not prevented. Siting of garbage dumps on cliff tops along the coast is also causing problems through pollution, run-off etc.
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In 2005 Houssine won the Hassan II Prize for environment. For more information go to http://membres.lycos.fr/nibani66