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Deep Sea Lebanon Project


Towards deep-sea conservation in Lebanon


36 months, from 2016 to 2018.


The “Deep-Sea Lebanon” project is implemented by OCEANA in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment of Lebanon as main government partner and CNRS-Lebanon as supportive government partner, and in cooperation with IUCN and UNEP/MAP-SPA/RAC as executing partners; and ACCOBAMS, GFCM as supportive partners.


The project support the aim to build a coherent and comprehensive MPA network by 2020 in the Mediterranean region by strengthening Lebanon efforts to implement its MPA national strategy through the improvement of scientific knowledge about deep sea habitats and the identification of the areas that need to be protected and prepare the management guidelines for the official presentation of the MPA proposal to relevant authorities.

  • Activity 1:  exploring marine biodiversity, particularly in submarine canyons and deep-sea areas (depth range 200 to 1000-1500 meters),
  • Activity 2: development of management guidelines that will benefit national authorities as well as the local communities, and
  • Activity 3: initiating the declaration of the MPA through concertation with national and local authorities.
Main achievements:
  • Five areas surveyed (from North to South): (i) Tarablus/Batroun, (ii) Jounieh, (iii) St. George, (iv) Beirut escarpment, and (v) Sayniq.
  • 622 identified species in depth ranged from 36 to 1050 m. Dozens of species had never previously been recorded from Lebanon within them 3 are new for science.
  • The Jounieh canyon in the process to become the first MPA covering deep-sea environment in Lebanon.
  • A management plan was produced including an overall vision, objectives and priorities for conservation, to support the establishment of the Nature Marine Reserve in the bay of Jounieh.
  • A regulatory framework review was issued and will be used as baseline documents by the Lebanese authorities to support marine protected areas creation and management efforts.
Beneficiary country:



Deep Sea Lebanon Project is financially supported by the MAVA Foundation.