The aim of the UNEP Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (RAC/SPA) is to assist and help Mediterranean countries in the implementation of the protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity.
An Action Plan for the Conservation of Cartilaginous Fishes (Chondrichthyans) in the Mediterranean was approved at the XIII Conference of Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention at Catania, Sicily, in November 2003. Under such umbrella the RAC/SPA in 2003 has produced the Action Plan for the Mediterranean basin.
RAC/SPA controls and assesses the activities performed at regional or national levels for the preparation of Action Plans. Such control activities allow the formulation of proposals to update the programs related to action plans, in particular for the threatened cartilaginous species.
On this basis, RAC/SPA in 2009, in collaboration with IUCN-SSG, updated the Mediterranean Action Plan, adopting the program MEDLEM, also supported by GFCM, a fundamental tool to bring together other actions already in force (www.arpat.toscana.it/progetti/medlem).
In the mean time, RAC/SPA launched concrete actions scheduled in its program by the activation of activities in different countries as Libya, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina. Reputed important is the production of the “Guidelines to design legislation and regulations for conservation and management of cartilaginous fish”. In bibliography is listed the production of RAC/SPA documents. (www.rac-spa.org).