Centro Velico Caprera, in collaboration with One Ocean Foundation as a scientific partner, launches the second edition of the project M.A.R.E. "Marine Adventure for Research and Education." As scientific partner, the Foundation's team of biologists will coordinate the scientific activities of the initiative during the 10 weeks of navigation in the Adriatic Sea. The journey undertaken by the O.N.E. catamaran departed from Taranto, moving through the Eastern Italian coast monitoring the Ionian, Adriatic and Aegean Seas with a 1,400-mile route that will take the team of researchers from the Taranto Navy base to finally arrive in Corfu in July.
The aim of the project is to expand the monitoring activities of the Mediterranean Sea by gathering further data and promote knowledge and protection of the marine environment. The scientific research activities will follow two main strands: monitoring the marine biodiversity of the Adriatic Sea and assess the contamination status of the basin.
To monitor the marine biodiversity, the Foundation's biologists will sample marine water to trace environmental D.N.A. (i.e. traces of D.N.A. left by marine organisms). This method, which yielded very positive results last year, will allow the detection of species difficult to spot with traditional visual surveys.
Instead, the search for pollutants will be based on collecting samples of zooplanktonic organisms, natural bioindicators of environmental pollution, to monitor the presence and distribution of various marine contaminants considered very dangerous due to their toxicity and accumulation capacity in aquatic organisms. Finally, the analysis will also investigate 15 trace metals, which can be very dangerous even at low concentrations.
The project, overseen by Dr Ginevra Boldrocchi, One Ocean Foundation's Scientific Project Coordinator and researcher at the University of Insubria, will help collect data for future publications for scientific articles in high-level scientific international journals. It will also allow researchers from different Italian and foreign universities to bring on board several research activities that will provide new data for scientific investigation in the Mediterranean this year.
Since it's a Citizen Science based-project, the participants will be involved in activities to raise awareness on the importance of the sea and the environmental impact people have on the ocean.