Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, June 20, 2018

A conference organized by the Association Monégasque pour la Protection de la Nature (special thanks to Jacqueline Gautier-Debernardi and Jean-Marc Ferrie, AMPN, and to Robert Calcagno and his staff, Oceanographic Museum of Monaco) has be led by Patrice Francour (ECOMERS laboratory and former president of the Scientific Committee Prado Artificial Reefs, Marseille). It focussed on the first Monegasque artificial reefs to the latest reefs, printed in 3D, immersed in November 2017.

Monatage pour site Web ECOMERS réduit

The first artificial reefs date back to the 17th century and were submerged in Japan, the undisputed leader in this field. Today, throughout the world, they serve to preserve, restore and improve the coastal ecosystems and related ecological services. Described simply as submerged structures, positioned deliberately on the seabed, they aim to imitate certain characteristics of natural rocky habitats. In the Mediterranean the use of artificial reefs began during the 20th century but only increased in quantity after 2000. In Monaco the first artificial reefs used were those associated with the creation of the Larvotto marine reserve some 40 years ago. In France and Monaco artificial reefs principally provide the means to sustain artisanal fisheries or to restore damaged habitats. Generally speaking they have simple shapes, nothing complex architecturally and for the most part are made of concrete.

The recent increase in the use of artificial reefs has essentially been motivated by the extent of damage to the coastline and the need to find solutions to remedy the problem. But how can an ancient concept of artificial reefs made of concrete evolve to face such a challenge ?

Recent progress in technology has led to the idea of more complex designs of artificial reefs thanks to the use of 3D printing. Using natural materials, mainly sand from the Dolomite, has allowed the creation of ecological reefs. Thanks to the joint efforts of the Monegasque Association for the Protection of Nature, the Boskalis company and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, six 3D printed reefs were immersed in November 2017 in the Larvotto MPA: a first in the Mediterranean and in the world due to the size of the reefs. The research undertaken by international scientific teams (ECOMERS, BOREA, Boskalis, D-Shape) prior to this project in Monaco was original, innovating and advanced our knowledge in the field of artificial reefs, as much in terms of management (how to put in place a programme for submerging artificial reefs) as in scientific terms (which designs, what materials).

The full presentation can be dowloaded here in French.After the presentation, Elisabeth Riera, (PhD student in ECOMERS lab; her PhD subject deals with the 3D printed artificial reefs immersed in Monaco) and Enrico Dini have joined Patrice Francour to answer the questions of the audience. Enrico Dini, CEO of D-Shape (https://d-shape.com/) is the "father" of the giant 3D printer which printed the 3D ARs. He was also involved in the world first project of 3D printed ARs immersed in Bahrain in 2012.

Read more: Artificial reefs: modern visions of a centuries-old concept

Plastic pollution and overfishing threaten the delicate equilibrium of the Mediterranean. The ECOMERS lab (UNS and CNRS) and THALASSA (www.thalassa-env.com) work together to increase the children awareness towards the richness of marine life and the crucial importance of its preservation. Protecting the diversity of life in the marine environment involves deep changes in everyday life.


(Crédit photo : Nice-Matin/Philippe Bertini


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The IUCN Center for Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN Med) in cooperation with Enalia Physis Environmental Research Centre (ENALIA, Cyprus) organized a first workshop addressing marine invasive species management in Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). This meeting took place in Cyprus close to the Cape Greco MPA between the 24th and 26th of April 2018.


Lagocephalus sceleratus signe MD

The invasive pufferfish Lagocephalus sceleratus (Picture: Murat Draman)


The aim of this workshop was to enhance the understanding of the impacts of non-native marine invasive species and build the capacity to elaborate efficient management actions and proper mitigation measures in MPAs. Thirty participants came from 16 countries (Croatia, Albania, Egypt, Israel, Montenegro, Cyprus, Greece, Libya, Italy, Turkey, France, Spain, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iran and the USA). France and ECOMERS laboratory were represented by Virginie Raybaud. She presented an overview of 3 ongoing projects from the lab on this topic:

- PAVIS project led by Sylvaine Giakoumi (http://ecomers.unice.fr/index.php/research/en-cours/87-pavis-assessing-the-relationships-between-marine-protected-areas-and-invasive-species),

- ECOCIMED, a citizen science project led by Patrice Francour (https://www.facebook.com/ecocimed/),

- CLIMAT-BIO project led by Virginie Raybaud (http://ecomers.unice.fr/index.php/research/en-cours/121-climat-bio-climate-change-and-biogeography-of-invasive-species-in-the-mediterranean-sea-a-modelling-approach)

Read more: IUCN Workshop addressing marine invasive species management in Mediterranean Marine Protected...



    Organisée dans différents lieux emblématiques de la Principauté, la Monaco Ocean Week (MOW) est l’occasion pour les acteurs locaux et les grandes organisations internationales de partager leurs expériences et d’approfondir leur réflexion sur la conservation du milieu marin et le développement durable d’une économie bleue. Pour plus d’information, le programme détaillé de la MOW peut être consulté sur le site officiel :www.monacooceanweek.org  


Dans le cadre de la MOW, le laboratoire ECOMERS (Université Côte d'Azur ; http://ecomers.unice.fr/) et la Plateforme LIFE (Low Impact Fishers of Europe) co-organisent un événement sur « La pêche artisanale en Méditerranée : contribuer à des solutions et non à des problèmes ».

L’événement, ouvert au public, se déroulera mercredi 11 avril 2018 au Yacht Club de Monaco (https://www.monacooceanweek.org/en/access/), de 13:00 à 16:00.

The ANR project PAVIS and the EU COST project MarCons organized an expert knowledge elicitation workshop at the University of Vienna, Austria (27-28/03/2018). The aim of the workshop was to bring together experts on marine biological invasions and marine conservation in order to identify the most effective management actions for the control of marine invasive species. The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Sylvaine Giakoumi from ECOMERS, CNRS, University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis (France) who organized the workshop together with Dr. Paolo G. Albano from the University of Vienna (Austria) and Dr. Vesna Macic from the Institute of Marine Biology, Kotor (Montenegro). The participants came from eight Mediterranean countries and the European Commission (the Joint Research Centre). France was represented by Prof. Patrice Francour from ECOMERS.

Marcons Vienna 2018 03 27

In the picture from left to right: Vesna Macic (organizer), Carlos Jimenez (Cyprus), Patrice Francour (France), Anna Occhipinti (Italy), Ana Cristina Cardoso (JRC), Stelios Katsanevakis (Greece), Sylvaine Giakoumi (organizer-facilitator), Paolo G. Albano (organizer), Yassine Ramzi Sghaier (Tunisia), Gil Rilov (Israel), Alan Deidun (Malta), Dor Edelist (Israel), Ernesto Azzurro (Italy), Emma Cebrian (Spain).

Read more: PAVIS and MarCons meeting in Vienna University