Calabrian coast biodiversity (BioCal)

Monitoring Marine Biodiversity along the Calabrian Coast

EuroCoML PI Link:

Dr Simonepietro Canese; Central Institute for Marine Applied Research (ICRAM), Rome, Italy

The main objective of this project is the creation of a flora-faunistic georeferenced database for the identification, evaluation and study of habitats and biocenosis highly important for their biodiversity in the coastal waters of Calabria.In order to obtain a clear knowledge about biodiversity in the area, poorly known marine habitats have been investigated by means of innovative underwater instruments.

Our work started with the collection and analysis of bibliographic material and interviews with local fishermen in order to identify specific areas of interest. This phase was followed by detailed acoustic prospecting with sidescan sonar and multibeam echosounder where detailed cartographic data were not present, to identify the presence and extension of hard substrata.  In areas believed to be of particular interest, experimental fishing operations (net, line and trap), underwater direct sampling with scuba divers (0-35 m depth) and transects with our Remotely Operated Vehicle (35-250 m depth) equipped with high definition video and still cameras were conducted. Data collected were inserted in a specific geodatabase.

The long-term goals are to:

  • define and monitor the Calabrian Seas marine biodiversity composition;

  • find and evaluate vulnerable biocenosis, rare species and biodiversity hot-spots to identify sites of high interest for conservation;

  • provide stakeholders with information for the future management of these areas.


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