Groupers and brown meagre monitoring along the French Mediterranean coast
Underwater census of the dusky grouper Epinephelus marginatus (photo JM Cottalorda)
fish biodiversity; high trophic level predators; threatened species; conservation; sustainable management
Jean-Michel Cottalorda and Patrice Francour

field monitoring: Parc Naturel Marin du Golfe du Lion, Parc Marin de la Côte Bleue, Observatoire marin de la communauté de communes du golfe de Saint-Tropez, and Office de l’Environnement de la Corse


administration partnership: Direction Interrégionale de la Mer - Méditerranée

AFB (Agence Française de la Biodiversité)

Overall funding (2015-2018) 133.500 € (ECOMERS 53.000 €)

September 10, 2015 – June 30, 2019

  • Highly sensitive to fishery activities, the brown meagre (Sciaena umbra) and several groupers species (as Epinephelus marginatus) have been evaluated as "vulnerable" or "endangered" species in the IUCN Red Lists and listed in Appendix III (protected fauna species) of the Barcelona and Bern international conventions.
  • For the French State, this implies that their exploitation must be regulated in such a way as to keep the existence of these populations out of danger. The worrying ecological state of assemblages of these species along the French Mediterranean coast resulted in the signing of new prefectural decrees (signed in Dec. 2013) to regulate their fishing for the next 5 to 10 years.
  • In addition to the regular monitoring within the marine protected areas, this program aims to launch monitoring on control sites (i.e. outside MPAs), to better evaluate and update the status of these high trophic level heritage species.
  • The outputs will allow the French state administration in charge of biodiversity to evaluate and adapt their sustainable management regulations.
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