Within the framework of the MedMPAnet Project, a marine survey was conducted by SPA/RAC and WWF-MedPO to assess the biological features and the ecological interest of Ain Ghazela and Bomba Bay marine and coastal area with a view of elaborating a management plan outlines.
More than ten Libyan and international experts completed the assessment in late September 2010. During the surveys, the international experts delivered a brief on-the-job training on MPA siting and socio-economic aspects related to MPA establishment.
The filed survey carried out in Ain Ghazela and Bomba Bay marine area had identified a high heterogeneous seascape characterized by priority habitats and species for the Mediterranean Sea.
Principal marine habitats recorded were Posidonia oceanica meadows (macro atolls, posidonia on rocky bottom, posidonia on sandy bottom, posidonia on gravels, hill facies, drop off matte, dead matte), Cymodocea nodosa meadow, Caulerpa prolifera meadow and Cystoseira spp. Belts.
Seven species listed in the annex II of the SPA/BD Protocol were recorded in Ain Ghazela and Bomba Bay marine area: Aplysina aerophoba, Caretta caretta, Cymodocea nodosa, Cystoseira sp., Dendropoma petraeum, Pinna nobilis and Posidonia oceanica. Two species (Epinephelus marginatus and Paracentrotus lividus) are listed in the annex III of the SPA/BD Protocol.
The data collected was used by the Environmental General Authority of Libya to elaborate the proposal for the management of the areas.
A coordination meeting will be organisted with the reprensentants of Environmental General Authority of Libya and RAC/SPA focal point to plan and coordenated the future action.In fact, The General Public Committee of Agriculture, Animal and Marine Wealth (the Ministry responsible for MPAs), has officially declared Ain Al-Ghazalah Gulf and Al Elba Island as Natural Protected Area for the conservation of marine turtle and sea birds and to forbid all fishing activities in these areas.