During the project’s 6 year duration, 10 large marine areas in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Macaronesian regions have been studied, fulfilling the objective of evaluate and propose their designation as a Natura 2000 network Site of Community Interest (SCI): Avilés Canyon System, Galicia bank, the Mud Volcanoes of the Gulf of Cadiz, Southern Almeria - Chella Bank, the Marine area of Alborán Island, the Marine area of Columbretes Islands, South-West Gulf of Lions canyons system, Menorca Channel, Conception Bank and the Eastern and southern marine area of Lanzarote-Fuerteventura.
The selection of the 10 areas of study, with a surface area of almost 5 million hectares, was based on the different biogeographic representations, the presence of vulnerable or threatened species and habitats as defined in the annexes of the Habitats and Birds Directives, and the existence of areas of high ecological value in a good state of environmental conservation.
This project has also seen the continuation of work done for the marine IBA LIFE project through which SEO/BirdLife and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment had identified the main Important Bird Areas (IBA) in the Spanish marine environment. During the course of INDEMARES, 39 spaces of ornithological values have been confirmed and been designated as Special Protection Areas for Birds.
The areas declared during the course of the project have increased the total protected sea-surface in Spain from less than 1% to more than 8%, thus contributing to the objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity to protect 10% of marine regions by the year 2020.