Maiorano, L., Bartolino, V., Colloca, F., Abella, A., Belluscio, A., Carpentieri, P., Criscoli, A., Jona Lasinio, G., Mannini, A., Pranovi, F., Reale, B., Relini, G., Viva, C., and Ardizzone, G. D. 2009. Systematic conservation planning in the Mediterranean: a flexible tool for the identification of no-take marine protected areas. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, 66: 137–146. We propose the use of systematic conservation planning in the Mediterranean context for the identification of no-take marine protected areas (NTMPAs). We suggest a logical framework that should be used for the identification of areas to be targeted for multispecies, spatially explicit conservation actions. Specifically, we propose seven steps: (i) definition of the study area; (ii) selection of the species or habitats to be considered; (iii) definition of the planning units; (iv) measurement of the fishing effort; (v) definition of the conservation targets; (vi) review of the existing conservation areas; (vii) selection of additional NTMPAs. Moreover, we consider the potential impact of different conservation plans on existing fishing vessels. A working example is presented, focusing on a limited number of species and on a limited study area. This framework can be easily expanded to include datasets of different origin and to accommodate larger spatial scales. Such a process involves major data-collection and capacity-building elements, and conservation of productive commercial fisheries must be a priority.