The Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research

Role: Coordinanting beneficiary
Activities: coordination and definition of protocols and analysis methodologies
Place: Rome, Italy

The Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research is a public research body established in 2008 and supervised by the Minister of Ecological Transition (MIT). It supports regulatory activities at the national and international levels. It performs technical-scientific functions in several fields of fundamental and applied research through strategic consultancy, experimentation, control, information and training activities. It also guides the network of the Italian National System for Environmental Protection and Monitoring – SNPA.

Role: Associated beneficiary;
Activities: project management, communication activities and networking
Place: Rome, Naples, Palau – Italy

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Triton Research develops European projects for the conservation of the sea, in which it deals with communication, dissemination and coordination. Triton includes a group of experts and communicators who work in marine sciences and project management, aiming to implement concrete projects to improve the status of habitats and species, increasing awareness of the key role of the sea in the functioning of the planet and in everyone’s lives.

Role: Associated beneficiary;
Activities: applied research and environmental monitoring, training support
Place: Savona– Italy

CIMA Research Foundation is a non-profit research organization. It aims to promote the study, scientific research, technical development for the protection of civil protection and ecosystems. It was born in 2007 thanks to the founding bodies: the Civil Protection Department – Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the University of Genoa, the Liguria Region and the Province of Savon. A line of research is dedicated to marine ecosystems, with a particular focus on the cetaceans of the Pelagos Sanctuary and interactions with human activities. CIMA technicians and researchers are also involved in the development of monitoring methodologies, stakeholder involvement and advanced training.

Role: Associated beneficiary;
Activities: environmental monitoring, data collection and DNA analysis
Place: Valencia– Spain

Founded in 1499, it is one of the oldest and most authoritative Spain universities. The Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology is the research team involved in the Life Conceptu Maris project. Indeed, the Marine Zoology Unit has been studying the cetacean migration corridor, the waters between the Balearic archipelago and the Spanish mainland, for more than 25 years. The research group works to identify and design protection areas for cetaceans and sea turtles in the Spanish Mediterranean. It works mainly in two crucial areas: conservation biology of marine mammals and sea turtles and parasitology of marine vertebrates. The university’s scientific authority also monitors, both from boats and aircraft, the beaching and by-catch of cetaceans and sea turtles along the Valencia region.

Role: Associated beneficiary;
Activities: stakeholder involvement, long-term monitoring, review of action plan strategies
Place: Lecce– Italy

The Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change has been established in 2005 and became a Foundation on 2015. CMCC benefits from the extensive applied research experience of its member and institutional partners (National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, University of Salento, Italian Aerospace Research Centre, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, University of Sassari, University of Tuscia, Milan Polytechnic, Resources for the Future, University of Bologna) to investigate our climate system and its interactions with society. CMCC has a research network spread across eleven divisions, also develops models and methods for marine and coastal forecasting and represents the interface between scientific knowledge and decision-making, to protect the environment and develop science-led adaptation and mitigation policies in a changing climate.

Role: Associated beneficiary;
Activities: stakeholder involvement, long-term monitoring, review of action plan strategies
Place: Naples– Italy

Founded in 1872 by German zoologist Anton Dohrn, it is among the most influential research institutions in the sector of marine biology and ecology. The SZN conducts advanced research through a multidisciplinary approach that includes genetics, cell biology, ecology, the evolution of marine organisms and oceanography. Another prerogative of the Zoological Station is the ability to develop experimental methodologies and protocols. Since 1982, the Marine Turtle Research Group of the SZN has been conducting conservation programmes based on practical applications (from data collection to monitoring nesting beaches, from rescuing injured animals to raising public awareness) and scientific research, particularly on the migratory and at-sea behaviour of Caretta caretta.

Role: Associated beneficiary;
Activities: sensor design, data collection, isotopic analysis, modelling
Place: Palermo– Italy

The team from the Laboratory of Ecology at DiSTeM (Department of Earth and Marine Sciences) participating in the project is the scientific coordinator for the design and use of sensors to be attached to the keels of ferries, intending to collect data on water temperature, oxygen levels, pH, salinity and position. Cross-referencing this information with that from monitoring and analysis of the species’ environmental DNA, the researchers will then create spatial and temporal models to understand how environmental variables affect the distribution or presence of cetaceans and turtles anywhere in our sea. By analysing carbon and nitrogen isotopes in sea samples, they will also be able to clarify the structure of the underwater food chain.

Role: Associated beneficiary;
Activities: monitoring on species and marine litter, dissemination
Place: Villasimius (CA)– Italy

The Capo Carbonara Marine Protected Area, located at the south-eastern tip of Sardinia, was established in 1998 and is managed by the Municipality of Villasimius. It deals with the protection and conservation of biodiversity and environmental heritage through the management of activities within its boundaries, favouring research, promoting sustainable tourism, enhancing places of interest and also dealing with environmental education and awareness. For years, it has participated in national and international cooperation projects, including the FLT Med Net: since 2013, it has been involved in monitoring cetaceans, macro- and megafauna, maritime traffic and FMML (floating marine macro-litter), using scheduled ferries as an observation platform, on the Cagliari-Palermo route.

Role: Associated beneficiary;
Activities: marine eDNA collection and analysis
Place: Milan– Italy

The University of Milan is active in the natural, biological and biotechnological sciences. The Department of Environmental and Earth Sciences (DISAT) is interdisciplinary, studying the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere in terrestrial and marine environments. It is also synergistically focused on studying climate change, the vulnerability of the anthropogenic and natural system and the risks related to its unconditional exploitation. Since 2016, Unimib has been hosting the International Master’s in Marine Sciences, and since 2017, the Marine Environmental DNA research group has been active, involved in projects mainly focused on marine vertebrates. In 2018, the MeD for Med initiative was launched and, in 2020, the Spot the Monk project. For Conceptu Maris, Unimib conducts DNA sampling across the board, including preparing a protocol with guidelines for sample collection and filtration and training courses for sampling teams. Among its objectives is the development of a ‘bank’ of marine DNA samples.

Role: Associated beneficiary;
Activities: legal aspects, environmental monitoring, modelling
Place: Turin– Italy

The University of Turin is one of the most prestigious Italian universities, with over 600 years of history. It participates in the project with the Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology (Dbios), which carries out teaching and research in biology and environmental sciences with a particular focus on areas such as biodiversity conservation and bioacoustics. The Dbios coordinates the Master’s Degree in Environmental Biology and Evolution of Animal and Human Behaviour and the international doctorate in Sustainable Development and Cooperation. Over the past 30 years, numerous studies have been conducted on marine megafauna distribution, ecology, migration patterns, behaviour, communication and interaction with human activity in and outside the Mediterranean Sea.

Role: Associated beneficiary;
Activities: raccolta e analisi dati su specie, marine litter e traffico marittimo, aspetti normativi, citizen science
Place: Montpellier– France

EcoOcéan Institut is a French NGO created in 2004 by a team of scientists and teachers for the conservation of large vertebrates in the sea. Its activities consist of scientific research, expertise, capacity building and environmental education on cetaceans, seabirds, turtles and human activities that have an impact on them (such as maritime traffic and marine litter). EcoOcéan Institut is linked to the French Ministry and ACCOBAMS, the treaty on the conservation of cetaceans of the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the contiguous Atlantic area.