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In brief

BioDivMed mission sets off from Monaco to map marine biodiversity

The Lagoon 570 LOVE THE OCEAN catamaran team, Prince Albert II and the YCM General Manager © Manuel Vitali / Communication department

The YCM Pontoon of Honour welcomed the first synchronised, standardised scientific census of marine biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea. 

The BioDivMed mission was launched on Thursday 27 June, with Prince Albert II in attendance. For the second year running, the oceanographic campaign set off from the Monaco Yacht Club in the direction of Carnon, in the Hérault region of France. The mission’s objective: to collect data on fish, crustacean and mammal species to improve our understanding of underwater life.


Participants in the study include the Unité Mixte de Recherche Marbec (Marbec Joint Research Unit) – University of Montpellier in collaboration with the Centre d’Écologie Fonctionnelle & Évolutive, companies Spygen and Andromède Océanologie as well as the philanthropic organisations We are Méditerranée and OceanoScientific.

Unprecedented mapping

Under the scientific direction of Professor David Mouillot, the OceanoScientific team will collect DNA samples from around 20 sentinel sites in order to map the Mediterranean seabed. This is thanks to a new technology that is able to locate an animal species up to 30 minutes after it has passed by, and then locate it in space.

“DNA reveals the presence of the rarest species, which are rather limited in number with elusive and furtive behaviour,” David Mouillot explained to Monaco Info before mentioning the case of angel sharks, which have disappeared from the French Mediterranean coasts: In 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, or 10 years, if your children find one, we will have a trajectory, we will have positive signs of population revival in endangered species.”

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During its first phase, in 2023, the BioDivMed mission identified 267 fish species on over 2,000 kilometres of coastline and it doesn’t plan to stop there!