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Research &


           Collaboration between research

           institutions and MPAs contributes

           to Posidonia oceanica conservation:

           The Egadi Island’s experiment

           Preliminary results on the collaboration between the ENEA’s Marine Environment Research Center and the Egadi
           Islands’ Marine Protected Area (MPA), aimed to evaluate effectiveness of artificial reefs in limiting the impact
           of trawling on Posidonia oceanica meadow at Favignana Island, are reported. The methods and parameters chosen
           for monitoring showed their reliability in training non-experienced personnel for data collection within the MPA.
           The proposed monitoring approach is of great value to the MPA interested in both gathering basic and long-term
           data on the health status of protected habitats and acquiring baseline information useful for the evaluation
           of protection and conservation actions

           DOI 10.12910/EAI2015-073

           n S. Cocito, C. Lombardi, S. Donati, P. Patti Genovese, N. Ponzè, A. Peirano


           Declines in the cover of Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile   quality, but also of a decrease in fishing resources and
           meadows have been  recorded in many parts of  the   an increase in coastal erosion.
           Mediterranean Sea, where the plant forms extensive   Meadow declines have been  attributed to several
           meadows on rocks and sandy bottoms in clean water   natural and anthropogenic impacts, illegal trawling
           at a depth from less than 1 meter to over 40 meters [1].   fishing being one of the most important direct causes of
           Identified as a priority habitat type for conservation in   large scale degradation of P. oceanica. Repeated passes
           the Habitats Directive (Dir 92/43/CEE), these meadows   of trawl  gear over the seabed cause the mechanical
           provide important  ecological functions and services,   degradation of meadows, reduce plant density and
           and harbour a highly diverse community  with some   cover and this degradation changes the structure and
           species of economic interest. Any decline in P. oceanica   dynamics of the associated biological assemblages.
           meadows could have serious economic  implications,   It has been  reported that trawling gear can remove
           not only in terms of loss of biodiversity and ecosystem   between 100000 and 360000 shoots/hour [2]. The slow
                                                              re-growth of the plant further prolongs  the impact of
                                                              trawling, which sometimes can run into decades [3].
                                                              With the main objective of restoring  P. oceanica
                                                              meadows, restrictions on trawling over meadows have
            Contact person: Silvia Cocito
                               been reinforced in the last 15 years in Spain, Italy and
                                                              France  by the deployment  of anti-trawling artificial

            EAI    Energia, Ambiente e Innovazione    4/2015
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