Thank bollards in water on Rio Mare project has been possible to reduce by 80% the illegal trawling the coast, 14 sea turtles Caretta caretta rescued and cared for only in 2016, the return of the monk seal in the Sicilian coast. These are the results of the three-year project conducted in Egadi Islands through collaboration between Marine Protected Area, the largest marine reserve in the Mediterranean, and Rio Mare.dissuasori-antistrascico-amp-egadi-5 “This collaboration – says Stefano Donati, director of ‘Egadi Islands Marine protected Area – is a very important signal of how Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives can support protected areas and the public authorities in carrying out its mandate. “

“In these three years – he added – the support of Rio Mare is allowing us to strengthen the most important underwater habitat protection, Posidonia and preservation of two symbolic Mediterranean species. And the results are absolutely exceptional: nowhere else in Italy, illegal fishing has been reduced to this extent; as well as immeasurable is the figure for the return to Italy of the monk seal. ” The initiative, one of the first of its kind in duration and investment made by individuals in Italy, aims to protect biodiversity and to promote sustainable management of natural resources of the territory. In particular the intervention of Rio Mare provides for the funding of three projects: the protection of the oceanic Posidonia, the Observatory’s management of the Mediterranean monk seal in Punta Troia Castle in Marettimo and support to the First Aid Center of Marine Turtles in the Palazzo Florio Favignana.

Among the actions undertaken, the placement of bdissuasori-antistrascico-AMP-Egadi-5ollards 20 antistrascico ripopolanti, to reduce illegal fishing that disturbs the seabed, destroying the oceanic Posidonia and severely reduces the fish. The laying in the water of 20 bollards Rio Mare allowed to carry on the coastal protection work already begun by the Marine Protected Area in 2013 with the aim to increase fish stocks and protect the Posidonia Oceanica, the “green lung” of the Mediterranean, in addition to providing shelter and nutrients to countless species, contrasts coastal erosion, fighting climate change and global warming.

During the next year is planned to lay another 20 bollards in order to complete the protection of the Marine Protected Area.

The three-year project will also support the management of the Observatory of the Mediterranean monk seal in Punta Troia Castle in Marettimo, to monitor the presence of this species in the archipelago, the most protected and vulnerable of the Mediterranean. Last winter a subadult specimen of Foca has been sighted and documented by a photo of the seven traps that Rio Mare has helped set up in the caves of the Egadi Islands.

f9a85971b9b68ba8e85e243f623d4401The return of the monk seal in Italy is a unique event: the winter sighting is in fact the sign of a permanent presence and the documentation of this species in the archipelago Sicilian plays a strategic role for its conservationist value, given its rarity and lack of information about his presence in our seas. The third project, support for the First Aid Center of Marine Turtles, located in the Palazzo Florio Favignana, has paid off. This year alone were rescued and hospitalized 14 turtles Caretta caretta who had been injured or have found themselves in trouble because of plastic ingestion or fishing line, interactions with floating debris, or collisions with boats. The recovery facility also serves an important function of the visitor center, environmental education center and teaching laboratory: in the first nine months of 2016, the center has welcomed more than 2,000 visitors.