Abandoned fishing gear, maritime traffic, plastic pollution. The negative effects caused by human activities on cetaceans and sea turtles are increasingly evident. It has therefore become urgent to know better the distribution of the most widespread species in order to develop efficacy strategies.
From this premise, in January 2022 the LIFE20 NAT / IT / 001371 CONCEPTU Maris CONservation of CEtaceans and Pelagic sea TUrtles in Med: Managing Actions for their Recovery In Sustainability”, supported by the financial instrument for the environment of the European LIFE Institute, will face for four years several challenges, combining the efforts and skills of important Italian and international research institutions: Ispra – Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale, as Coordinating beneficiary , Area Marina Protetta “Capo Carbonara”, CIMA Research Foundation, CMCC Climate, ÉcoOcéan Institut, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Triton Research, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Universitat de València – UV, Università degli Studi di Torino.
The LIFE Program and Natura 2000 network
The LIFE program is the instrument used by the European Union to support projects for the conservation of nature and the environment, in particular for the protection of biodiversity, the fight against climate change and the transition to clean energy and the circular economy.
LIFE has been operational since 1992 and so far has funded over 5 thousand projects that have promoted action plans and disseminations plans, techniques and innovative approaches, to update and develop the legislation and environmental policies of the European Union.
Over the years, many LIFE projects have concretely contributed to improving the projection of endangered habitats and species, including the brown bear, the monk seal, the wolf and hundreds of birds at risk.
LIFE projects regularly involves Natura 2000 network, an organised system of thousands of sites designed to conserve the European Union’s biodiversity, and in particular to protect habitats (forest, grasslands, rocky environments, wetlands, well-preserved coastilnes) and rare and threatened animal and plant species.
Actions of CONCEPTU Maris
- Detection of stable isotopes and microscopic traces of DNA (eDNA) dispersed in water by animals;
- use of hull sensors installed on ferries;
- monitoring of fauna, marine litter and maritime traffic from ferries;
- citizen science campaigns for citizen involvement in monitoring;
- training courses for on-board personnel, to reduce the risk of collision with cetaceans;
- estimate of the areas with the highest concentration of floating waste and assessment of the entanglement risk.