Facts & figures

  • The Mediterranean is the largest enclosed sea in the world, connected to the Atlantic Ocean only through the 12-km wide Strait of Gibraltar.
  • The Mediterranean Sea touches 46,000 km of coastline of 25 countries and territories of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Over 25,000 km of the coast is urbanized – already exceeding critical limits.
  • Over 150 million people live on the Mediterranean coastline, one of the most populated regions on the globe.
  • The Mediterranean region is the world’s leading tourist destination. The maritime tourism industry in the Mediterranean hosts 270 million tourists each year, employing 1.7 million people and pumping over 100 billion euros into the region’s economy. It is forecast that the Mediterranean will receive 500 million international tourist arrivals by 2030.
  • Though the Mediterranean only covers 0.7% of the world’s ocean area, it is one of the major reservoirs of marine and coastal biodiversity, with 28% of endemic species, 7.5% of the world’s marine fauna, and 18% of its marine flora (RAC-SPA, 2019).
  • 6% of the Mediterranean Sea is under some level of protected status, but only 0.23% are no-go, no-take or non-fishing zones (MEDPAN, 2016).
  • Among hundreds of iconic species and habitats found in the Mediterranean are Monk Seals, Loggerhead and Green Turtles, Fin and Sperm Whales, Dolphins, Swordfish, Red Coral, Locust and Spiny Lobsters, and Posidonia Meadows.