In 2019, THALASSA Marine reseach was commissioned by the “Association Monégasque pour la Protection de la Nature” (AMPN) to assess the ecological status of the Educational Managed Marine Area (EMMA) of Monaco. The EMMA is a small coastal area that is managed by the students of a lower secondary school.
This project was proposed by the AMPN, and is carried out in the framework of a partnership with the Monaco Government and with the support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. The 7th year class C of the École des Révoires was the first generation of students to participate in this project, that last for the 2018-2019 school year.
For this project, we were responsible for the assessment of the ecological status of ecosystems and emblematic species present in the EMMA. We carried out a bibliographic research and we performed in situ studies from the surface waters up to 30 m depth.
• Fish populations were assessed using the FAST method
• Benthic communities were assessed using the quadrats method
• The ecological quality of EMMA waters has been assessed using the CARLIT method
• A photography inventory is now available on the various artificial habitats of the AME (wreck of Toulonnais, artificial riprap, floating dike of the Hercule port, chains of the dike)
• An in-depth list of physical pressures and associated impacts has been determined (artisanal fishing, recreational fishing, scuba diving, discards at sea, etc.)
The study report of 124 pages is available at this link: Ecological status of the Educational Managed Marine Area of Monaco – 2019 (French version)
On October 14 2019, the main results of the report were presented to the students responsible for the management of the Monaco EMMA. This meeting was an opportunity to explain the methods used by researchers for data collection, to show them the habitats and the different species present in the EMMA but also the human pressures exerted on the EMMA site. It was the opportunity to talk about science in a playful and interactive way allowing them to better understand the conservation stakes of their Educational Managed Marine Area.
This work was made possible thanks to several people to whom we wish to thank:
• The AMPN for entrusting us with this work and for the provision of its resources at sea; Mrs. Jacqueline Gautier-Debernardi, Director of the AMPN, for her advice, investment and help in collecting the data;
• Professor Patrice Francour, Deputy Director of the ECOSEAS laboratory (formerly ECOMERS) for his advice and to share his scientific data;
• Doctor Heike Molenaar, EMMA scientific referent for his help in collecting data in scuba diving;
• Mr. Stéphane Jamme, Aquanaute Expertise, for his logistical support and his photographs;
• Mrs. Béatrice Momeux-Salati, teacher in charge of “generations 1 and 2” of the EMMA.