The ECOMERS lab is involved since the spring 2015 in a new and challenging scientific project, the printing of artificial reefs. Boaskalis, an international company specialized in maritime engineering, launched a project of 3D printing to build artificial reefs. In association with the Foundation Albert 2 and the AMPN (Association Monégasque pour la Protection de la Nature), they plan to print the reefs in Italy under the control of Enrico Dini, and to immerse them in the Larvotto marine protected areas. Patrice Francour, as AR expert, has been contacted by the AMPN to join the team to design these new artificial reefs.

3D AR immersion

The 3D printing allow to create new artificial reefs, more complex than the traditional concrete ARs. The printed reefs are build in dolomite sand, a totally natural product. Six reefs will be printed and immersed in the Larvotto MPA during the spring 2016. An experiment is currently carried out to compare fouling on dolomite and concrete plates.

The first printed unit has been officially presented to the Prince Albert during a ceremony hosted in the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.

Read more: The 3D printed artificial reefs: a new and innovative way to restore habitats?

An interview article has been recently published (April 17th, 2015) on the newspaper Nice Matin making the point about the state of artisanal fishing in the region 'Cote d'Azur'. Given the links with tradition and culture in the Mediterranean region, and considering the potential of artisanal methods in terms of sustainability, the article clearly support the idea to save this kind of fishing rather than keep supporting un-sustainable (ecologically and aconomically) industrial, large-scale fisheries.

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 To read the article (in French) click here

news scandola tf1

The scientific work carried out by ECOMERS lab researchers (University Nice-Sophia Antipolis) have been reported on August 12th, 2014 at 20h00 on TF1.

Scandola (Corsica) is one of the most beautiful natural marine reserves in the world, classified as 'heritage UNESCO' site. This marine sanctuary hosts an exceptional biodiversity, which has been investigated by researchers of UNS in the last 20 years.

To know more

Summer school in Batroun, Lebanon (June 2-4, 2014)
written by Anna Fricke

The first summer school of the ENPI-CBCMED M3HABs (Risk Monitoring, Modelling and Mitigation of Benthic Harmful Algal Blooms) project took place in Batroun, Lebanon, 2-4th June 2014. The project has started in January 2014 and will help to increase awareness and implement measures to manage benthic harmful algal blooms in the Mediterranean basin through the development of common monitoring procedures, automated counting methods and modelling predictive tools.

During the three-day workshop, held at the National Center for Marine Sciences (CNRS) and in the facilities of the San Stephano Resort, international participants of the various partners (e.g. France, Italy, Lebanon, Monaco, Montenegro, Tunisia), together with master and PhD students, came together for lectures, scientific exchange and further planning for the upcoming activities of the project.

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(Fotos: Valentina Giussani; Flavio Oliva; Wildlife photoreporter & cinematographer; Sally Sassine)

The main aim of the workshop was the training of students and the intercalibration of methods among participants in order to facilitate and optimise the first sampling season.

In a vibrant and motivated atmosphere the common sampling and samples analyses techniques were demonstrated and students had the occasion of train both in the field and in the laboratory.

Beyond the excellent mediation of the required scientific knowledge on Ostreopsis ecology and taxonomy, the workshop promoted further intercultural exchange and allowed a unique insight in the culture and environment of the host country.

Overall the summer school provided the ideal base for scientific exchange and opened the doors for a further fruitful cooperation along the Mediterranean coasts.