Sailing in the marine areas of Natura 2000 to learn about the fragility of ecosystems

Sailing in the marine areas of Natura 2000 to learn about the fragility of ecosystems


The sailing campaign of the LIFE A-MAR NATURA2000 project has come to an end in these days, which in one month of navigation has carried out an important work of dissemination of the activities and problems of marine protected areas. The Italian-Spanish project is coordinated by Federparchi and was created to promote the marine areas of the Natura 2000 networkthe “ecological network” established thirty years ago by the European Union, which connects virtually everyone the most important sites from the point of view of the conservation of habitats and speciesin order to make them known to the general public, enhance their naturalistic peculiarities, raise awareness of their fragility and stimulate more respectful and sustainable behaviors.

The project includes 24 training seminars for marine site operators, managers and stakeholdersi, two discussion workshops with all the subjects interested in the marine sites of the Natura 2000 network, three networking events to share the strategies and actions of the project. Then there are publications on the project’s activities dedicated to stakeholders and above all the possibility of replicating and transferring the project’s experiences to four other countries. Furthermore, the activities include four training courses for the enhancement of the marine sites in question and communication activities via the website, social media, apps, newsletters and videos with the aim of reaching a total of six million contacts.

There sailing campaign started on May 15th from Liguria, to continue in Ischia (Amp kingdom of Neptune) and then finally in Lazio (Circeo, ending in Ostia on June 28th). Each stage saw in-depth events and guided tours and the used boats are owned by the Naval League but come from seizures from organized crime.

The final stage starts today, 23 June, from the Kingdom of Neptune marine protected area to continue, on 26, to discover the Circeo National Park and the coasts near Ostia, to end on 28 June from 11, with an important event at the headquarters of the Italian Naval League Section Lido di Ostia. Among immense meadows of Posidonia oceanica, forests of Cymodocea nodosared and white gorgonians develop it extraordinary underwater world that surrounds the three islands of the AMP Kingdom of Neptune, Ischia, Procida and Vivara for tens of square kilometers. Here it is possible to dive into seabeds of singular beauty due to the volcanic nature of the island, which has generated splendid underwater caves with a spectacle of colours, including areas of coralligenous, red algae, madrepores, corals and an expanse of the rare “false black coral ” (Gerardia savalia), characteristic of Ischia and present along the ridge of the tower of S. Angelo. This wonderful submerged garden is animated by a great wealth of fish: golden groupers, parrot fish, red damselfish and pavonine damsels, but also squid, squid, all species of blue fish and small tunas. The Kingdom’s waters are also frequented by a large number of cetaceans: the Cuma Canyon is home to the most important common dolphin family present in the Mediterranean (Delphinus delphis), on the red list of endangered species.

“Spyros”, one of five boats recovered from criminal activity and made available for this project by the Italian Naval League, will then continue to discover the uncontaminated charm of the Circeo National Park to discover the creatures in the stretch of sea between Anzio and Terracina. A wetland that offers the ideal refuge for many species of aquatic birds, such as cattle egrets, cranes, lapwings, but also an enormous variety of fish and the possibility of meeting specimens of the pond turtle (Emys orbicularis), now at risk of extinction in Italy. Two participatory meetings (on the 23rd in Ischia and on the 26th at the Circeo) accompanying the last stages of the sailing campaign.

There are then two appointments organized by Lipu, one of the project partners, dedicated to getting to know the exceptional biodiversity in the stretch of sea between the Zsc Secche di Tor Paterno and the Ostiense coast. The shoals of Tor Paterno are a protected marine area that forms like an island on the bottom of the sea, among very rare corals, such as the Alcyonaria, where many fauna species have built their dens, such as moray eels, conger eels, red mullet and the prized frog fisherwoman; while on the surface it is easy to spot the flights of rare species of seabirds, such as gannets and labbis, and in the sea cetaceans, especially dolphins.

Most relevant marine and coastal Natura 2000 sites:

IT6000010 Shoals of Tor Paterno
IT6000009 Shoals of Torre Flavia
IT6000008 Shoals of Macchiatonda
IT6000007 Backdrops in front of S. Marinella
IT6030048 Coastline of Torre Astura
IT6000011Seabed between Torre Astura and Capo Portiere
IT6040015 Circeo National Park
IT6000013 Seabed between Capo Circeo and Terracina
IT8010028 Foce Volturno – Variconi
IT6040019 Islands of Ponza, Palmarola, Zannone, Ventotene and S. Stefano
IT8030010 Seabed of Ischia, Procida and Vivara

LIFE A-MAR NATURA2000 is a project financed by the LIFE Program of the European Union born with the aim of enhancing and promoting the marine sites of the Natura 2000 network. The project is led by Federparchi – Europarc Italia; active partners are Triton Research, Lipu and Fundación Biodiversidad. In addition, the following participate as co-financiers: the Asinara National Park, the Tuscan Archipelago National Park and the Cinque Terre National Park.

All the activities promoted within the LIFE A-MAR NATURA2000 project have the objective of promoting a conscious and responsible use of this extraordinary treasure trove of biodiversity represented by the marine Natura 2000 sites for all “users of the sea”. through knowledge and love for the environment you can actively contribute to its protection.

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Twitter @LifeAMARNatura2000


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