Ibn Hani Marine Protected Area
It is the only Marine Protected Area in Syria, It is located to the north of Latakia near the old city of Ugarit. It was declared according to decision No. 26/ T in 2000 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform where it defined the area boundaries and location. It stretches for a length of 2.3 km and a depth of 1.5 km in the sea, with a total area of about 10 km2, extending from the Higher Institute for Marine Research northward to the lighthouse of Ibn Hani, it is administratively affiliated to the Public Commission for Fisheries and Fish Resources that is based in the city of Jableh.
The MPA was declared with the aim to protect marine creatures and provide a secure habitat for their reproduction as it is the only refuge for many threatened marine species away from immediate threats caused by over-fishing and other human activities and it is rich in fish species and other marine creatures.
The Mediterranean Monk Seal was seen several times in the waters of the Protected Area as a result of this action in addition to sea turtles that are also seen passing in the area, In spite of being declared as a protected area, it still suffers sometimes from several violations such as using dynamite in fishing as well as the use of nets with small mesh. Therefore, several efforts must be made incorporating those from the General Commission for Fisheries and Fish Resources and the General Directorate of Ports, in addition to other activities aimed to raise environmental awareness among fishermen and the local community which will guarantees a sustainable protection of marine species in the future.