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18 September 2018 Press release

RAMOGE Deep-sea exploration campaign Second Campaign

Following a first campaign in 2015 on the Italian scientific vessel the Astrea, which belongs to ISPRA*, it is the now the French delegation's turn to charter an IFREMER oceanographic vessel, the Atalante.  This ship is equipped with a ROV** that can reach a depth of up to 6,000 m, which will enable it to explore deep, little-known and even unexplored areas.  These areas have been identified as being of ecological interest by the members of the RAMOGE working group, in line with the criteria set out by the Convention on Biological Diversity.

On Monday 17 September, the scientific team, comprised of 20 marine environment specialists from scientific bodies*** in the three countries (Monaco/France/Italy), boarded the Atalante to have a better understanding of these deep habitats, both in terms of the species that live there and the anthropogenic pressures that could be exerted there (in particular the accumulation of waste).

Depending on the weather conditions, the vessel will explore ten or so areas in the three member countries of the Agreement (see map).

For each area explored, the following will be undertaken:

  • bathymetric mapping of the area:
  • an inventory of habitats, protected and commercial species, ecosystems and anthropogenic pressures and a sampling of species requiring confirmation of taxonomic identification;
  • sampling of sediments and waste.

These observations will inform the diagnoses necessary for the implementation of the various European directives, such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the Habitats Directive (HD), which covers fauna and flora.

The data collected will enable recommendations on conservation to be made.

This campaign is an important initiative of coordinated cooperation between cross-border countries, making it possible to obtain data that is consistent among the three countries of the RAMOGE Agreement.  This is a fundamental step in creating a shared knowledge base, which is essential for establishing common management solutions.

  •   ISPRA:  Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale/Higher Institute for           Environmental Protection and Research** 
  • ROV:  remotely operated vehicle – a small, remotely controlled underwater robot

***9: scientific bodies that are taking part in the campaign ISPRA (IT), UNIGE (IT), AFB (FR), CPIE (FR), Gis Posidonie (FR), IFREMER (FR), MNHN (FR), CSM (MC) and DE (MC).

 Further Information:

Secretariat of the RAMOGE Agreement

Tel:  +377 98 98 42 29



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