Marine Protected Areas

The two Marine Protected Areas of Larvotto and Tombant des Spélugues are two sensitive areas of the Monegasque coastline presenting rich biodiversity, including Posidonia meadows in the Larvotto area and coralligenous in the Spélugues area. These areas are home to several heritage species such as the dusky grouper, the Brown Meagre, the spiny lobster, etc.

Mapping of the Larvotto Marine Protected Area (click to enlarge).

The Larvotto Marine Protected Area is delimited to the East by the border of territorial waters and to the West by the cove of Larvotto beach, duly marked.
The WGS 84 coordinates expressed in decimal degree minutes are as follows:
* 7°25',992268 E and 43°44',675257 N
* 7°26',003380 E and 43°44',656544 N
* 7°26' .096361 E and 43°44',543311 N
* 7°26',480481 E and 43°44',660441 N
* 7°26',605067 E and 43°44',809262 N
* 7°26',349620 E and 43°44',940591 N

Mapping of the Spélugues drop-off Marine Protected Area (click to enlarge).

The Spélugues drop-off Marine Protected Area  is bounded to the East by the cove of the old Portier port and to the West by the Lucciana jetty.
The WGS 84 coordinates expressed in decimal degree minutes are as follows:
* 7°25',786811 E and 43°44',217792 N
* 7°25',851643 E and 43°44',259305 N
* 7°25' .880763 E and 43°44',312107 N
* 7°25',804010 E and 43°44',330712 N

Since their creation in 1975, these Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been the subject of monitoring, research work and have been managed by the Monegasque Association for the Protection of Nature (AMPN) and later jointly with the Direction de l'Envitonnement (DE), each entity intervening according to its area of expertise and prerogatives.

Since 2016, AMPN has been part of MedPAN, the network of managers of Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas. This major advance has allowed the AMPN to gain international visibility but also to participate in exchanges and initiate collaborations with other managers.

Since 2018, a Sovereign Ordinance has clarified the place of the AMPN as manager of Monegasque Marine Protected Areas and distributed the roles between the AMPN and the institutions of the Principality.

As part of this new institutional context, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation has decided to support the AMPN in the development of a management plan for the two Marine Protected Areas.

This management plan was developed between the end of 2019 and September 2021 in a partnership approach involving the scientific council of the AMPN and the Direction de l'Environnement as well as all the partners linked to the MPAs of Monaco: institutional (Département de l’Equipement, de l’Environnement et de l’Urbanisme, Direction des Affaires Maritimes, Direction URBAMER, Direction des Travaux Publics, Direction de l’Aménagement Urbain, Département de l’Intérieur, Division de Police Maritime et Aéroportuaire, Direction de l’Education Nationale, de la Jeunesse et des Sports, Département des Finances, Administration des Domaines, Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco, Centre scientifique de Monaco, Institut océanographique) and private/users (hotels, restaurants, diving clubs, fishermen, Yacht Club de Monaco, Société des Bains de Mer, Société d’Exploitation des Ports de Monaco, Société Monégasque d’Assainissement). Several meetings to present and share/validate documents (diagnosis, objectives, action plans) took place throughout this development phase, including with the funders of the management plan.

The management plan consists of a diagnosis which details the ecological, socio-economic and institutional contexts linked to the management of the Marine Protected Areas of Monaco. It then presents the prioritized issues and the strategy to improve conservation and reduce the pressures exerted on it. Finally, it establishes a work schedule which specifies the actions to be carried out by the AMPN and the Direction de l'Envitonnement for the period 2022-2026 in consistency with the National Biodiversity Strategy established in 2021 by the Prince's Government.

To view the Management Plan, click here.