It includes the three islands of Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo and the islets of Formica and Maraone. The main island of Favignana is set about 7 km away from Trapani, while Marettimo is the farthest, at 38 km from the coast. The reserve is entirely located in the province of Trapani, within the Italian territorial waters.
The coastal geomorphology is characterized by carbonatic rocky shore alternating by high cliffs, small sandy or pebbles beaches and many submerged or semi-submerged caves. the abandoned caves have now wonderful hypogeum gardens colonized by typical Mediterranean flora that make them particularly attractive to the visitors. The coastline of the three islands are characterized by several submerged or semi-submerged caves, one of the best known is "Grotta del Genovese", in Levanzo, adorned by prehistoric paintings depicting hunting and fishing scenes. In Favignana, the ancient tuna farm "Tonnara Florio", from long time fallen into disuse, was renewed and today host an important Historical Museum, nowadays the most important tourist attraction of the area.
The MPA has a high naturalistic value and hosts several important habitats both marine and terrestrial, such as the largest Posidonia oceanica meadow in the Mediterranean Sea or the vermetid’s “trottoirs”, an association among the mollusc Dendropoma and some calcareous algae. The presence of several rare or endangered marine species as monk seal Monachus monachus, sea turtle Caretta caretta, colony of bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus and striped dolphins Stenella coeruleoalba, ribbed limpet Patella ferruginea, noble pen shell Pinna nobilis, dusky grouper Ephinephelus marginatus, bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus, characterizes the rich biodiversity associated to the well preserved MPA's habitats. In addition, the coastal cliffs host a rare colony of storm petrels Hydrobates pelagicus.
Professional fishing is the main commercial activity of the local economy: 165 boats are authorized to fish within the MPA, 37 of which are from Egadi Islands, and the others belong to fleet of Trapani (data at 2017). Professional and non-professional fishing are regulated by laws, but due to the great extension of the MPA, surveillance and control is not simple. The other main commercial activities of the area (data at 2017) are limited and certificated by the MPA that release authorizations and touristic quality brands: recreational fishing (about 1600 authorizations), fishing cruise (7 authorizations), scuba diving centres (8 authorizations), marine cruise (63 authorizations), marine transport (10 authorizations), anchorage (about 2500 authorizations), boat renting and leasing services (about 250 authorizations). Biodiversity is threated by most of common human activities, with a highest peak during the touristic season (June/September). Cruise boats and anchoring are probably the main threats to marine habitats and biodiversity.
The MPA hosts the largest Posidonia meadow of the Mediterranean Sea. The seabed of Marettimo presents in addition a large circalittoral zone stretching as far as the edge of the continental shelf. Intertidal and infralittoral zones, with their coves and caves, are colonized by photophilous assemblages dominated by Cystoseira amentacea var. stricta in association with Cystoseira crinita. The intertidal zone is characterized by the presence of the endemic gastropod mollusk Dendropoma petraeum and its "trottoir", a typical biogenic formation of the Mediterranean Sea. The rocky coastline of Marettimo is one of the last few sites in the western Mediterranean where a Patella ferruginea population is still present.
The Municipality of Egadi Islands (in Favignana) is in charge of the MPA management so the Mayor of Egadi Islands is the President of the MPA, Salvatore Livreri Console, email@example.com
The MPA staff consist of 15 annual employees, supported by seasonal staff that involve university and research institutes internships (such as CoNISMa, ISPRA, Enea, CNR, etc.), voluntary from environmental associations (such as WWF, Marevivo, etc.). In December 2016 the MPA managing Body was designated by the Sicilian Region to manage the site and draft a management plan, with the aim of describing the natural features and regulating the human activities. A building plan regulating construction works is also nearing completion.
The archipelago of Egadi Islands is located off the northwestern coast of Sicily, in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the largest marine coastal protected area in the Mediterranean Sea, with a surface of 53,992 hectares. Province of Trapani (Sicily).