Marine litter research expedition in the Tuscan Archipelago National Park
- IN FOCUS -
Plastic Busters MPAs has elaborated a harmonized approach for monitoring marine litter in Mediterranean pelagic and coastal MPAs towards assessing the impact on biodiversity including endangered species.
This harmonized approach will now be tested in selected sites, including the Tuscan Archipelago National Park. In the next coming days the Plastic Busters MPAs team will board the Astrea vessel of ISPRA and will kick-start a
2-week-field mission that will focus on:
- Monitoring macro- and micro-litter floating on the sea-surface
- Recording the presence of biota
- Sampling endangered species (cetaceans) as well as commercial species (fishes and invertebrates) to assess the amount of ingested litter
- Collection of field data to validate the project’s marine litter transport and accumulation models.
The field activities will be carried out by UNISI and ISPRA in close collaboration with IFREMER and LaMMA, while collaborators from the Union for the Mediterranean and the Interreg Med Joint Secretariat will also join.
THE TUSCAN ARCHIPELAGO NATIONAL PARK
The Tuscan Archipelago National Park, established in 1996, covers an area of 79,160 hectares of sea and land that go from Livorno to the Argentario promontory. It includes seven islands in all: Capraia, Elba, Giannutri, Giglio, Gorgona, Montecristo, Pianosa, as well as the Formiche of Grosseto and other small rocks. Among all Italian National Parks, the Tuscan Archipelago is the one characterized by the strongest integration of land (22%) and sea (78%) and the largest number of islands, significantly distant and different from each other, rich in endemic species.
The Park protects the natural heritage of the area and ensures the conservation of its astonishing biodiversity; it is recognized as an important area for plant diversity and is characterized by the presence of protected sea birds of significant importance, such as the audouin's gull – the flagship species of the Park - the greater shearwater and the yelkouan shearwater.
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THE RESEARCH EXPEDITION PLAN
- Gorgona island: 9 July 2019
- Capraia island: 9-10 July 2019
- Elba island: 11-12 July 2019
- Pianosa island: 13 July 2019
- Montecristo island: 14-15 July 2019
- Giglio island: 16-17 July 2019
- Giannutri island: 18 July 2019
(dates may vary depending on weather conditions)