Prince Albert II attends launch of OceanoScientific’s second Mediterranean expedition

The Nice-based OceanoScientific team has embarked on its second eDNA Mediterranean Expedition. The Love The Ocean catamaran, which will tour key sites across the region, departed the Yacht Club de Monaco earlier this week following a ceremony attended by Prince Albert II of Monaco.  

Following a “positive and encouraging” mission along France’s Mediterranean coast in 2023, the OceanoScientific eDNA Mediterranean Expedition has been launched anew for a second project that will see the team visit 19 of the key sites that were explored in-depth last year.  

The goal is to establish a comprehensive marine biodiversity inventory of this section of the Mediterranean coastline.

The team aboard the Love The Ocean research catamaran will be led by Yvan Griboval, who has been the president of OceanoScientific since 2018. The first task for his group of researchers and scientists will be to identify the range of fish, crustaceans and cephalopods living within the boundaries of the Station Sentinelle de Biodiversité Marine in Menton. 

See more: BioDivMed mission along France’s Mediterranean coast returns “positive and encouraging” results

Speaking to Monaco Life, Justine Camus, who is in charge of overseeing OceanoScientific’s missions, said, “The objective is to return to these 19 sites that we have marked to further explore them and to observe the scientific progress at these sites from year to year.” 

“I am sure this expedition will produce interesting results and help us better understand the Mediterranean, our home,” said Monaco’s Prince Albert, a devoted ocean conservationist, at the launch event.  

Pierre Boissery from the Rhône Mediterranean Corsica Water Agency and Professor David Mouillot from the University of Montpellier also presented a review of the results of the 2023 mission, which was coordinated by BioDivMed Mission, the Rhône Mediterranean Corsica Water Agency, MARBEC Joint Research Unit-University of Montpellier, the Centre d’Écologie Fonctionnelle et Évolutive de Montpellier, SPYGEN, Andromède Océanologie and the philanthropic association We Are Méditerranée.   

Mouillot noted, “We have invested a substantial sum into new technologies that can speed up the progress of our expeditions, such as AI, high-resolution satellites, advanced trackers and others.” 

Boissery, meanwhile, spoke of the importance of missions such as these in engaging the next generation of conservationists, saying he hoped the project would inspire young people to be “curious about the Mediterranean and its evolution”.  

To read more about this second mission, click here.

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