M.A.R.E. - Marine Adventure for Research and Education
One Ocean Foundation, in collaboration with Centro Velico Caprera Foundation, has developed a research project that aims to monitor the health of the Mediterranean Sea to promote knowledge and protection of the marine environment.

The M.A.R.E. project was established in 2022 from the partnership between the One Ocean Foundation and the Centro Velico Caprera. M.A.R.E is an ambitious initiative of scientific research and citizen science, aimed at monitoring the health status of the Mediterranean Sea by promoting knowledge and protection of the marine environment.

The research aims to assess the level of sea pollution and monitor marine biodiversity, using simple yet effective sampling methods such as collecting zooplankton samples, environmental DNA, as well as conducting sightings and acoustic surveys.

The ultimate goal is to obtain, for the first time, an overview of the entire Mediterranean Sea and fill an information gap regarding its health status. Setting sail aboard the ONE catamaran, samplings were carried out along the Tyrrhenian coast in 2022 and the following year in the Adriatic; in 2024, sailing will take place in the northwestern area of the basin for 10 weeks.

Spreading awareness and good practices will be the cornerstone of the entire project.

M.A.R.E 2024

The third edition of the M.A.R.E. Project concluded on July 5, 2024, after 10 weeks in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea.

As scientific partner of the project, One Ocean Foundation's team collected over 150 samples along a 1500-mile route starting from the La Maddalena archipelago on the ONE catamaran, sailing along the French and Spanish coasts, reaching the Balearic Islands, and returning to Sardinia. The objective is to continue mapping the Mediterranean Sea's health and biodiversity.

The scientific activities of the past editions were replicated, including ecotoxicology, environmental DNA sampling (but this time focusing on the entire trophic network), and visual surveys, with a new addition: bioacoustics, to monitor marine noise pollution and cetacean presence.

One Ocean Foundation coordinated 14 researchers from national and international universities, thanks to the renewed call for applications, allowing external scientists to join the catamaran and advance their projects, transforming it into an itinerant lab platform.

With great success, the public and guests were involved in scientific activities and data collection through citizen science, raising awareness of the importance of protecting the sea.

M.A.R.E. 2023

The second edition of the project started from Taranto with the aim of monitoring and collecting additional data in the Adriatic Sea. The ONE catamaran set sail from Puglia to undertake a journey of about 1,400 miles along the Italian eastern coast, monitoring the Ionian Sea, the Adriatic, and the Aegean Sea.

As the scientific partner, the Foundation's team of biologists coordinated research activities on board during the 10 weeks of navigation. The activities involved the same methodologies and sampling techniques applied during the first edition of the project (visual survey, eDNA and zooplankton sampling), which yielded very positive results and allowed the team to discover new insights into the Mediterranean Sea.

As with the M.A.R.E. 2022, this year too, citizen science activities and various events were organized to promote knowledge and protection of the marine environment through participants. Furthermore, for the first time, the project allowed researchers from various Italian and foreign universities to bring aboard various research activities that will provide new data for scientific investigation in the waters of the Mediterranean.

Below is an overview of what was elaborated from the samplings conducted in 2023:

- 5 researchers and 4 research institutes involved

- 5 research projects

- 3 thesis

- 5+ scientific articles

M.A.R.E 2022

On April 29, 2022, the ONE catamaran set sail from the island of La Maddalena for the "Marine Adventure for Research and Education" project. As the scientific partner, the One Ocean Foundation coordinated research activities during the 12 weeks of navigation in the Tyrrhenian Sea. In November 2023, a comprehensive study on the contamination status of the Mediterranean Sea was published based on the analysis of zooplankton samples collected along the Tyrrhenian Sea in 2022: "Zooplankton as an indicator of the status of contamination of the Mediterranean Sea and temporal trends.

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