3DHyper - Multi-year monitoring of 3D printed artificial reefs in the Larvotto Marine Protected Area (Principality of Monaco) using a hyperspectral camera
3D artificial reefs, Hyperspectral camera, long term monitoring, new technique, Monaco,
Patrice Francour

UMR BOREA (Paris-Concarneau, France), PlanBlue (Bremen, Germany), Association Monégasque pour la Protection de la Nature (Monaco)

Fondation Prince Albert 2 Monaco

overall funding, 63 600 euros


  • Habitat destruction is one of the main causes of the decline of marine biodiversity and fisheries resources. Artificial reefs (ARs) can be considered as tools to restore habitats if their 3D complexity is close to that of natural environments. The use of concrete as a traditional building material for ARs generally does not allow for such complexity. Moreover, the chemical additives used in the concrete manufacture can have adverse effects on biofilm and macrofouling.
  • The use of large 3D printers allows the construction of ARs much more complex than traditional ARs. In addition, the use of a natural material such as dolomite sand removes the constraints related to the admixtures of concrete. The collaboration between Boskalis (Netherlands), ECOMERS laboratory, and AMPN (Association Monégasque pour la Protection de la Nature) allowed the immersion in November 2017 of six experimental 3D ARs in the Larvotto MPA (Monaco).
  • Their monitoring has been implemented by ECOMERS and UMR BOREA (Museum Natural History of Paris, University Pierre and Marie Curie, CNRS).
  • The macrofouling monitoring on the 3D ARs will be carried out using an underwater hyperspectral camera initially developed by the Max Planck Institute in Bremen (Germany) and improved and marketed by PlanBlue. This innovative technique has never been used in the Mediterranean.
  • This project follows the initial Idex UCA Jedi-funded project Hyper3D