All our projects

Floating garden in Rotterdam

Context

The city of Rotterdam is committing to improving its water quality by 2021, also the city is critically lacking green spaces. In this context, the company Urban Green has proposed the original idea of reinvesting the disused city canals by installing floating vegetated structures, which would be an asset for life both above and below water. A first prototype was installed in Buizengat Canal in 2015, consisting of 8 tanks filled with soil and planted with terrestrial vegetation, surrounded by grids where semi-aquatic vegetation develops and grow roots in the water, thus providing habitat for aquatic fauna. The whole structure is organized around an empty central space that Ecocean has equipped with 4 Biohut in 2016.

Interests & objectives

The central zone of the garden is particularly adapted to the development of young fish as it is protected from currents and presents an open-air surface. But the walls from the tanks forming this protective enclosure are fully smooth and therefore offers little opportunities of food or shelter. Equipping this area with Biohut enables to valorize this interesting zone, while providing a great added-value to the whole garden by diversifying the available spawning and nursery habitats: on the one hand the soft substrate provided by the roots on the outer border of the garden, on the other hand the hard substrate provided by the Biohut grids and shells on the inner border.

Monitoring

A first monitoring was implemented by Bureau Waardenburg in 2016. The results validated the nursery function of the garden as a particularly strong concentration of juveniles has been observed in the surrounding area. A total of 22 species were recorded. Moreover, the installation of the garden has led to a significant reduction in the catch rate of the main local invasive species (from 78% in 2015 to 30% in 2016) confirming that habitat complexification is an effective tool against the proliferation of invasive species. As for the spawning function, only perch eggs were observed so far. A second monitoring was carried out by Ecocean in July 2017 and aimed at studying the specific impact of the Biohut. It appears that the central zone equipped with Biohut concentrated the highest density of juvenile fish (mainly perch and roach at this point of the year). A monitoring of the fixed fauna and flora from one Biohut revealed the presence of two species of crabs as well as 5 juvenile eels, while the high density of macroinvertebrates present in the shell suggests that the Biohut represents a very good source of food for juvenile fish.

Project outcomes(phase 1):

On the long term, several hundred meters of additional floating gardens should be installed by 2021 at the latest. As the interest of the Biohut has been wildly recognized among project partners, it is likely that these future structures will also be equipped, ensuring a broad deployment of the Biohut technology in the city of Rotterdam.

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Project sheet Floating Garden Rotterdam (PDF)

CALAIS 2015

Context

The Society of Detroit Ports (project owner) has launched a call for tenders restricted by a notice of a competitive public tender in June 2013 in order to conclude a contract for the design and realization of the extension of the port of Calais ("Calais Port 2015"). This project consists mainly in the construction of a new breakwater north of the existing facilities of the Port of Calais and the realization of platforms, docks and berths to accommodate larger ships and face the expected increase in maritime traffic between France and Britain. "Calais Port 2015" must also respond to eco-design requirement, improve the underwater biodiversity and participate in maintaining the nursery function. This Design-Realization Group wants to install integrated artificial habitats from the Biohut© technology as a measure of eco-design.

Interests & objectives

Different types of Biohut habitats are considered to improve the ecological potential of the port infrastructures. In this context, a "phase test = phase 1" was proposed, that will take place in the current port during the construction work. In this way, the Biohut© will be fully operational once the expansion will be completed, and optimized to equip the new area reclaimed from the sea (phase 2).

Monitoring

The modules will not be subjected to a scientific monitoring but will be checked regularly during Phase 1 (= ecological monitoring).

Description of the service (phase 1):

• Visit and site analysis in April 2016 to develop the best technical proposal of the test phase within the constraints/recommendations from the customer.
• Program presentation meetings with the Contracting Authority, the Port Operator and services of the Region.
• Delivery and installation of Biohut© modules during 2016 4th quarter including:
- 3 Dock Biohut©
- 8 Stake Biohut©
- 9 Breakwater Biohut©
• 3 visits of maintenance and control during 2016/2017 including a biodiversity monitoring around the modules (report).
• A report will be delivered at the end of the test phase with a detailed proposal of recommended eco-design arrangements (quantity, workload, maintenance).

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Project sheet Calais 2015 (PDF)

NUAMCE

Context

The field of Coastal Ecology Engineering is rapidly developing and Ecocean and its partners have been involved for many years in setting up R&D projects for the preservation of marine biodiversity and the restoration of coastal habitats, especially focusing on solutions targeting juvenile fish protection. Ecocean notably developed solutions to recreate habitats and facilitate the installation of biodiversity along docks and pontoons in marinas and commercial ports (NAPPEX and GIREL projects). Ecocean, CDC Biodiversité and the CREM now want to continue these investigations and meet new needs by developing solutions for other types of marine infrastructure (e.g. breakwaters, pipes, mooring lines etc.). This is the purpose of the NUAMCE project, one of the 13 winners of the first call for project from the program “Investment for the Future” in the category "SME-Biodiversity Initiative" launched by the ADEME in 2015.

Interests & objectives

The project aims at finalizing three new types of solutions to improve the ecological function and biodiversity of marine infrastructures: -
The breakwater Biohut® requires a specific work of design optimization and evaluation of the environmental gain. It is composed of wooden sticks of variable length, nested at variable height on a perforated metal plate of modular form, with coconut fiber strands stretched between the wooden sticks. It is fixed by a shallow drilling of the stone surface. 270 breakwater Biohut® are installed as part of NUAMCE.
- The mooring Biohut® will be subjected to an assessment of its environmental gain and to technical improvement (fastening system). It consists of a wooden artificial habitat in the form of a "hoop net". Its height and width are adjustable and it is fixed along mooring lines already in place (20 mooring Biohut® are installed as part of NUANCE).
- The pipe Biohut® (produced in prototype phase) needs technical validation (production, transportation, installation, maintenance over time...). It is composed of a flexible metal plate (arc of a circle) on which are fixed sticks of wood of varying heights and secured to the emissaries without drilling.

Scientific monitoring

Breakwater and mooring modules are being scientifically monitored in situ during the project year by the laboratory of Perpignan. This study aims at evaluating the ecological gain from these structures.

Expected outcomes

NUAMCE is a complementary project indispensable to strengthen the development of the innovative concept launched these last 3 years (artificial nurseries for port areas). Through the extension of the range of targeted coastal infrastructures, these new Biohut® will also diversify the activity of Ecocean and aimed at new customers.
Finally, collaboration with the CDC Biodiversity will ultimately contribute to the creation and testing of innovative financial tools to reconcile economic development and preservation of biodiversity.

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Project sheet NUAMCE (PDF)

CASCIOMAR

Context

A first call for proposals on ecological restoration in the Mediterranean marine environment was launched in 2010 at the initiative of the Pôle Mer and Water Agency RMC. In this framework, Ecocean conducted a prototyping phase of the BioRestore® process between 2012 and 2013 in Marseille, and in 2014 the realization of a "model 1" of a fish restocking solution in Marseille harbor (GIREL_3R project – Restoration, Restocking and Refuge). Moreover, Ecocean participated in other restocking experiments following the BioRestore® principle: in Agde (2010/2011), in the Brusc lagoon (2014/2015 - LANDEAU project), in Corsica and in Barcarès (2013/2014 -LIFE + Sublimo) and Guadeloupe (2014-2015). The promising results obtained in these projects lead to the establishment of an innovative and sustainable operation of fish restocking at the scale of Marseille metropolis, based on the BioRestore® process. This process is the subject of a French patent on the phases of post-larvae capture and rearing.

Interests & objectives

This process - based on the capture of fish post-larvae, their breeding up to the juvenile stage and their re-implantation in the natural environment - enables a boost in the resilience of the ecosystem around the repopulated habitats and support the presence of species of high halieutics and heritage value.
This project will contribute to the challenge No. 2 of the Bay Contract of Marseille metropolis "Preserving the environmental quality of coastal environments" in line with the objective of "preserving the ecological wealth of the Mediterranean" to "contribute to the fight against the global phenomenon of species extinction" and " improve knowledge of marine environments ".

Deliverables / content of the project

The project, conducted on three location (Marseille, Cassis, La Ciotat), consists of three phases renewable every year based on the biological lifecycle of the targeted species:
- A phase of post-larvae capture (3 sites: La Ciotat, Cassis and Marseille) with specific light nets (CARE). These samples are collected by local small-scale fishermen trained in the technique.
- Followed by a breeding phase of the collected individuals in a specifically designed farm (installed in the South watchtower of Marseille harbor). This phase relies on specific breeding procedures of non-domestication.
- Finally a restocking phase at sea near the three fishing sites on emancipation habitats® (micro-habitats) suitable for the released juveniles and temporarily imersed in the Bay Contract territory.

Expected outcomes

- Improved knowledge on the Mediterranean post-larvae
- Positive contribution on the adult fish stocks.

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Project sheet Casciomar (PDF)

Cherbourg Breakwater

Context

Within the framework of achieving a polder meant to serve as storage area for upcoming projects of tidal energy in Normandy, Associated Normandy Ports (PNA) has selected the consortium DTP / DeJung to build the protective breakwater surrounding the polder. As part of the implementation of this rocky breakwater and without legal obligation, DTP wants to test solutions of artificial habitats and communicate around these ecological restoration solutions. As part of its research partnership, Biositiv has asked Ecocean to come with a proposition of artificial habitats solutions for breakwater.

Interests & objectives

- Test an artificial habitat solution for rocky breakwater in the Channel (a first in the maritime zone).
- Communicate and raise awareness about these solutions and their ecological functions.
- Display and promote the solutions Biositiv could offer its customers in the framework of future projects including compensatory measures.

Monitoring

The modules will not be subjected to a scientific monitoring but will be checked three times during the period (= ecological monitoring). This pilot aims to assess the feasibility of installing these structures on a dike in this new marine conditions and assess whether such modules contribute to the environmental improvement of the area but without drawing any scientific consequences.

Deliverables / content of the project

- Installation of 20 Breakwater Biohut in May 2016 in two areas with various characteristics of exposure, depth and hydrodynamics.
- Ecological monitoring of the solutions (September 2016 and March 2017) => report
- Realization of 2 pedagogical kakemonos to be displayed in the future showroom.

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Project sheet Cherbourg (PDF)

BALTIMORE (USA)

Context

Baltimore city is located along the Chesapeake Bay, the biggest estuarine in the US. As other urbanized watersheds, it has been deeply modified by human development that causes habitats losses, pollution and eutrophication. The National Aquarium of Baltimore is involved in raising public awareness about threats linked to natural ecosystems degradation and the consequences of the disappearance of ecosystems services. In conjunction with the National Aquarium, Biohabitats Inc, The Oyster Recovery Partnership and Ecocean, a pilot Biohut project has been implemented in the Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. It is the first deployment of the Biohut technology in the United States.

Interests & objectives

This pilot project has different goals and objectives: It serves as another public outreach tool for the aquarium to educate their millions of clients that visit the aquarium each year. The conservation staff of the aquarium in charge of the monitoring will be able to evaluate what species benefit from the Biohut in the Inner Harbor. Educators pull out two Biohut per month for dissection while observations are performed with underwater cameras every week. It is also an opportunity for Ecocean to enlarge its scope of action in terms of ecosystems - this project is the first implemented in brackish water.

Expected Impact & benefits

Species found on camera so far include: striped bass (Morone saxatillis), gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum), common grass shrimp (Palaemonetes pugino), mummichog (Fudulus heteroclitus), white perch (Morone americana), banded kilifish (Fudulus diaphanous), blue crab (Callinectes sapidus), pipefish (Syngnathus fuscus), white-fingered mud crabs (Rithropanopeus hirrisii), American eel (Anguilla rostrate), naked goby (Gobiosoma bosci) and Atlantic silverside (Menidia menidia). This project serves as a case example to present the Biohut process to local legislators and coastal managers who want to improve their environmental stewardship and restore natural ecosystem functions in the United States.

Future Prospects:

Depending of the success of this pilot project, other marinas in the regions could be equipped and thus join the NAPPEX marinas network from Europe. Following the encouraging results of the first year project, the National Aquarium has already decided to extend the project and to install more Biohut in 2015 to reinforce its ecological effects and its educational power.

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Project sheet Baltimore (PDF)

ZOE – Guadeloupe

Context

Guadeloupe is a French island in the Caribbean Sea that is considered a "hotspot" of biodiversity and attracts each year millions of tourists. But environmental pressures caused by tourism and economic development in various Caribbean islands disturb the functioning of ecosystems and endanger this precious heritage. To address these threats, a team of technicians and marine biologists in collaboration with the Aquarium of Guadeloupe called "IGREC MER" work to preserve and restore marine ecosystems in Guadeloupe. Besides their actions on coral reefs and seagrass transplants, IGREC began a CPC program (Post-larval capture and Culture), called ZOE, together with ECOCEAN.

Interests & objectives

The project objective is a feasibility study to account for the ecological, economic and social potential of the PCC technique in Guadeloupe. The project is also linked to the expansion of the port of Guadeloupe that seeks ecological engineering solutions to offset or limit the impact of its activities and future projects on the marine environment.

Concrete actions

As in most PCC projects, local fishermen are directly involved in the project by conducting themselves the post-larvae fish capture, using the light trap CARE® developed by Ecocean. Five of these devices are deployed in two main sites (Bouillantes & Passe à Colas). Once the PL captured, the IGREC team takes care of the identification of the collected species and begins rearing larvae at the Aquarium. After three to five months of enlargement, juveniles are then released to their natural habitats. These fish, released at the size known as “refuge size”, have a much greater chance of survival than at the initial post-larval stage. Some of the released individuals can be pre-tagged to allow monitoring and evaluating their survival rates and movement.

Results and deliverables

The ZOE project has settled the potential of the PCC technique in the Caribbean by presenting surprising catch rates, both in terms of diversity of species (37 families, 59 species) and abundance. On average, more than 200 PL were captured by night and CARE for a total of about 24000 juveniles in 2 years. The aquarium has benefited from the project by educating visitors about the importance of preserving marine biodiversity and explain its initiatives such as the ZOE project to restore coastal marine ecosystems on which local people depend.

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Project sheet ZOE (PDF)

CAPTILARVES – Haute-Garonne lakes (France)

Context

The capture of larvae from marine coastal animals (Ecocean’s core business) has proved to be a good tool to study and better understand the early stages of the life cycle of fish or crustaceans and to obtain new knowledge about the dynamics of communities living in coastal areas. Thus, hundreds of marine species were captured in the state of post-larvae then bred at land. The technique that stems from this knowledge - the PCC for "Post-larval Capture and Culture" - was first launched in tropical, marine environments, and from 2009 it has been tested and established in temperate environments (Mediterranean). The use of this new method in European inland waters is still very rare, even though it helps provide new elements for the understanding of a key phase of the life cycle of freshwater fish.

Interests and objectives

The project was specifically designed to test and validate this technique in 2014 - in both lakes of Lamartine site (Commune of Roques sur Garonne). It has led to the capture of fish larvae in fresh water using CAREs - passive fishing gear using a light attractor - and monitoring of their laboratory growth. To assess its reliability as a new bio-indication tool to help managers better understand the dynamics and the factors structuring lentic fish communities (living within calm/slow water renewal ecosystems) and - forward - its potential use in monitoring restoration projects.

R&D works:

The work lead by the teams of the EDB laboratories - Evolution and Biological Diversity (UMR 5174 EDB: CNRS / University Paul Sabatier / ENFA) and Ecolab - Functional Ecology & Environment (UMR 5245 CNRS / University Paul Sabatier / ENSAT), but also by Ecocean and Haute-Garonne fishing federation helped adapt the CARE technology to shallow depths and get information about particular species fishing period, the size of captured individuals and morphological characteristics of these very young stages of life.

Future Prospects:

Eventually, these results might represent a good health indicator for lakes (abundance and diversity of PL collected) and lead to a possible restoration of some wild fish populations. A first post-larvae identification guide of these lakes has been published, including pictures of various stages of development.

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Project sheet Captilarves (PDF)

LANDEAU – Brusc Lagoon (France)

Context

The Brusc lagoon (Var) is considered as a potential good nursery area for young stages of fish, due to its configuration and the presence of a Cymodoce herbarium. The LANDEAU project aims to confirm this hypothesis, through three actions:
1) An inventory of the existing diversity of post-larvae in the lagoon using two different techniques: the crest net (manufactured by Ecocean and already used in Polynesia) and light attractors CARE® (designed and manufactured by the company Ecocean).
2) Post-larvae capture and rearing in order to release them on their natural habitat and thus enhance the populations of the herbarium.
3) The monitoring of these recruits in natural sea grass bed, restored by transplantation or using micro-habitats. These last two solutions are developed by SM² Solutions Marines.

Interest & Objectives

Besides a contribution to the identification of post-larval fish, the expected results should provide an understanding of the important role that the lagoon of Brusc plays as a nursery site, compared with various sites around Embiez Island. Because of the degradation of the Cymodocea sea grass beds in the lagoon, the ecological restoration by transplantation of sea grass and key fish species will allow an estimation of the potential for improving ecosystem function.
• Technical innovation: The use of an innovative technique never applied in the Mediterranean Sea (Crest nets) allows the capture of species other than those that are photosensitive.
• Ecological innovation: The combination of post-larval capture & restocking with restoration of sea grass has never been performed before.

R&D works

• Two crest nets has been installed on the two channels that connect the lagoon with the sea. The nets collect a flow on one meter width by 70 cm depth. There are six nights of fishing per month over a period of six months (from April to September).
• For the light trap CARE®, eight sites have been chosen, the fishing is done at the same time as the crest nets.
• The identification and the breeding are performed in the facilities of the Paul Ricard Institute, located in border of the lagoon.
• The monitoring of the populations of the young recruits of fish is lead on five zones with three replicates of 1 m² among which two restored zones and three natural zones.

Expected impacts and benefits

• New knowledge about the dynamics of coastal fish populations. This might help local fisheries that are an economic and cultural asset of the PACA region.
• Potential for application in other shoreline areas
• Patent on the new processes of ecological restoration.

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Project sheet LANDEAU (PDF)

NAPPEX Project – French Mediterranean coast

Context

The post-larval stage is the final stage of the pelagic larval phase in the life cycle of coastal marine animals. These fish settle in shallow nursery habitats to feed and protect themselves from predation. However, nearly 95% will disappear within a few days of their return due to natural predation, loss of habitat and pollution. Some of them will head to the calm waters of harbors, areas that appear initially to be suitable for their development. Conversely, up to 100% of the post-larvae can disappear because of the design of port infrastructure (straight docks and hardened bulkheads) which creates a real trap for these post-larvae, as they have no protection against predation. The growth of hardened or artificial surfaces along Europe’s coast is occurring at a rate one third faster than in inland areas, and species that rely on coastal zones for nursery habitat have been especially hard hit by coastal development.

Interests and objectives

The NAPPEX project is the beneficiary of the invitation for « Ecological Engineering » projects launched as part of the National Strategy for Biodiversity by the French Ministry of Ecology. The objective of the call is to develop solutions that lead the French government to achieve the «Good Ecological Status» target set by the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The purpose of the NAPPEX project is to develop a marine ecological restoration solution, the Biohut®, which supports biocompatibility of port infrastructure by reintroducing the essential nursery function (shelter and food) that are currently missing. The design of the Biohut®, with its double cage system patented in 2013, aims to improve the survival rate of young fishes, which settle on the coast before they move to deeper water, and thus increase adult fish populations and promote more resilient marine ecosystem function.

Scientific surveys

In March 2013, 192 Biohut® structures were installed along docks and under pontoons of six Mediterranean marinas. Scientists from the University of Perpignan perform monitoring of each location (free wildlife, mobile and fixed fauna). This survey brought a scientific evidence of Biohut® environmental gain. In particular it was shown that the abundance and diversity of larvae vary depending on ports and location of the artificial nursery. The initial trends in the monitoring results were presented at the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER2013) in Madison as well as at the Conference on Ecosystems and Ecological Restoration (CEER2014) in New Orleans, in the United States. Finally, the feedback meeting with the presentation of the results took place on 15 December 2014 at partner port of Cap d'Agde. All scientific results and report are available on request.

Future Prospects:

The installation of this innovative solution is easily replicable on any built shoreline infrastructure. Harbor authorities who lead environmental stewardship efforts have already been persuaded by the success of this process. Indeed, following the NAPPEX project, Monaco, Marseillan and other Mediterranean coastal cities have deployed the Biohut®.

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Project sheet NAPPEX (PDF)

GIREL 3R Project – Marseille (France)

Context

Coastal and sea restoration is a fairly recent subject, which has not been much studied. It has taken on a new dimension with the adoption of two European Directives, the Water Framework Directive and the Strategy for the Marine Environment Directive. In its marine policy, the Rhone Mediterranean and Corsica Water Agency has selected the restoration and rehabilitation of coastal and marine environments as a priority area for work. The French Pôle Mer Mediterranean Cluster emphasized two environmental programs in its 2009-2011 objectives: 1) water management in coastal areas and 2) services for applying the European Strategy on Marine Environment. Not enough is currently known to allow operational repair actions on a routine basis. To help defining, developing and applying innovative solutions, the agency and the cluster came together to launch this call for proposal. Ecocean along with partners proposed the GIREL project.

Interests & objectives

The GIREL project was a research and development program led by the Maritime Harbor of Marseille. It involved private and public partners, scientists and industrials. It consisted in developing tools and techniques to valorize harbor infrastructure spaces in terms of marine ecology. With this project, the port of Marseille was looking for innovative ecological solutions to compensate damages caused by development and port operations.

R&D works

In this project, Ecocean proposed to implement two pilot projects involving innovative technologies, BioRestore® and Biohut®.
- BioRestore®: Partnering with Suez Environment Lyonnaise des Eaux, a PCC (Post-Larval Capture and Culture) program has been implemented. This process involves the capture of post larvae with CARE light traps (the post larval stage during which the fish are phototaxis and able to move independently from the currents) in large quantities and thus saving them from high predation during a critical growth phase; which greatly increases their chances of survival. The post larvae, matured to the juvenile size, are then released on temporary “emancipation habitat” to boost local fish population.
- Biohut®: In this pilot, Ecocean has designed, produced and installed more than 120 young fish habitats along the docks of the port of Marseille. It aims to make port infrastructures biocompatible by providing shelter and food for the young fish naturally present in the harbor. Biohut® aims to mimic natural coastal shallow water present before the port construction that provided crucial habitat for young of the year seeking nurseries. Both of these processes have been monitored by scientists from the University of Perpignan.

Future Prospects

Biohut®: the results of the pilot have been extremely positive. The observations reported a significant increase of biodiversity in artificial nurseries (average x4, up to x30 in the best areas). The Biohut® process has thus been recognized as an operational tool for ecological restoration by the Water Agency. BioRestore®: the GIREL project helped to optimize the process and validate its feasibility, both technical and social (involvement of local fishermen). The results for the fish release were encouraging with higher survival rates than those observed in the wild. The calculation of the ecological gain is however still to consolidate in 2015. All the results and the final report are available from Ecocean and new scientific publications are currently being drafted.

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Project sheet GIREL (PDF)

RESPIRE monitoring network – Mediterranean Sea

Context

The aim of the European Union's ambitious Marine Strategy Framework Directive is to protect more effectively the marine environment across Europe and achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) of the EU's marine waters by 2020. This strategy is applied at the French national level through an Action Plan for the Marine Environment (Article L 219-9), which consists of the implementation of research projects to improve knowledge and develop solutions that reduce the ecological footprint of human coastal infrastructures. These actions match with the objectives of the Rhone Mediterranean and Corsica French Water Agency (AERMC), especially on marine ecosystems surveillance and identification of human-based pressures affecting them. The implementation of the RESPIRE project taking place along Mediterranean coastal infrastructures will contribute to these efforts.

Interests & objectives

The RESPIRE network is a complementary surveillance network to those that already exist (like REPHY for Phytoplankton or REBENT for benthic fauna and flora survey). Initiated by the AERMC, the new network will consolidate the local strategies as well as the national objectives of public policies responsible for marine environment. The short term objectives of the project is to monitor spatial and temporal fish recruitment on the Mediterranean coast inside 23 marinas located between Port-Vendres and Monaco as well as on the Corsica Island. Diversity and abundance of young-of-the-year species will be monitored. The medium term objective aims to ascertain and measure the nursery role provided by marinas’ calm waters.

R&D works

In this project, ECOCEAN offers the use of Biohut®, an artificial fish habitat that aims to bring back the nursery function in marinas. Tested during previous research programs (for instance NAPPEX & GIREL), the Biohut® correspond to a suitable area to monitor fish recruitment in marinas habitats due to their capacity to provide young-of-the-year fish a shelter and a source of nutrient adapted to their metabolism.

Future Prospects

In this project, the installation of Biohut® doesn’t aim to restore the nursery functions in ports. The module will serve as an observation unit for scientific monitoring given its ability to house and protect the young recruits in this environment.. The results on abundance and fish species diversity observed will help to measure the condition and health of fish recruitment along the Mediterranean coast. The main issue identified by the AERMC being the « critical decrease of biodiversity due to the damage of shallow coastal waters », the RESPIRE network will provide to decision makers and scientists a new tool to assess habitats quality and health condition in marinas regarding biodiversity and fish recruitment.

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Project sheet RESPIRE (PDF)

Madafia Project – Madagascar

Context

Following a pre-feasibility study for the PCC performed in Madagascar, IRD, ARDA, ECOCEAN along with IHSM (Institute of Fisheries and Marine Science) and the fisheries Ministry came together to realize a full study to evaluate the possibility to export sustainable collected fish to Europe for the marine aquarium fish trade from Madagascar to France. Local fishing communities benefited from this project that represented an alternative to overfishing and a source of funding for the fishermen involved.

Interests & objectives

The MADAFIA project (« fia » meaning fish in Madagascar) had the following objectives:
1-Transfer the knowhow of PCC to technicians from INRH
2-Design and build a farm facility enable to grow fish to a commercial size.
3-Study of potential market (aquariology, aquaculture) to be developed from Tuléar.
4- Export fish to France This two years study provided an estimation of the feasibility and benefits for local communities. In addition, the study brought new information that enhanced knowledge about local fisheries (diversity, abundance, period of recruitment for local species).

Impacts & results

Thanks to the project, three local students have received training and are now able to perform and manage the PCC technique. Although one successful fish exportation at the end of the project to the NAUSICAA aquarium in France, the administrative services didn’t authorize IHSM to export more fish. The project moves forward with scientific purposes.

Deliverables

700 fish exported (<1% mortality arrival) at
NAUSICAA (Boulogne/Mer)
1 farm operational with filtration systems 2 Poster presentation at WIOMSA 2009 (île de la Reunion, France)
2 Posters presentation at WIOSMA 2011 (île de la Reunion, France)
1 Poster presentation at FISH CONFERENCE 2015 (Oman, Mascat)

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Project sheet MADAFIA (PDF)

IAMC Project – Coast of Sicily (Italy)

Context

The team of Dr. Giovanni D'Anna (CNR-IMAC) studies coastal fish recruitment in the granitola Torreta bay in Sicily. To better understand the processes at the local level, the project is to deploy 33 CAREs from Ecocean to capture and study the post-larvae. To breed the captured post-larvae, NRC also decided to acquire a 20 feet Wetlab Nursery. The nursery has been specially designed and adapted to the project requirements (breeding capacity of 2000L) dedicated to post-larvae.

Interests & objectives

This project uses the PCC technique (Post larval capture and culture) to study the population dynamics of local coastal marine animals as well as the connectivity between ecosystems.

Impacts and expected benefits

• Improved knowledge of the life cycle of coastal fish
• Improved knowledge of abundance and seasonality of post-larvae recruitment in the study area.
• Post-larvae identification.
• Scientific publication

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Project sheet IAMC (PDF)

RUNSEASCIENCE Project – Réunion Island

Context

Ecocean has performed the transfer of PCC knowhow to the Hemisphere Sud Company in 1999. This company has exported more than 2000 fish to France. Following encouraging fishing results, the RUNSEASCIENCE project has been implemented by IRD (Institute for Research and Development) from the Reunion island in partnership with the association ARDA and Hemisphere Sud. Ecocean provided the fishing gear and helped to analyze the collect.

Interests & objectives

The RUNSEASCIENCE project aimed to identify the diversity, abundance and period of post larval fish settlement around the Reunion Island. A photographic guide to help identify PL has been published. This study was performed using a CARE.

Impacts and deliverables

• Enhance marine ecological knowledge
• A post-larval photographic guide (not yet available)
• A scientific report

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Project sheet RUNSEASCIENCE (PDF)