Research and monitoring



Scientific research applied to the management of marine resources is one of the institutional tasks of the Miramare Marine Protected Area. The study of ecosystems and protected local species is a fundamental part of the management of the Reserve because through constant monitoring, it provides the data that makes it possible to regularly check good management of the area and to make appropriate adjustments if necessary. The research and monitoring activity of the Reserve has always been not only part of the scientific context of the city but also of the national and international panorama. Collaboration with the main institutes that deal with the sea such as the University of Trieste and the OGS (the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics), has made it possible to make the most of different skills; and to turn results into concrete marine protection measures, and promotion of the concept of marine protected areas.
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Every year in the Reserve constant visual census campaigns of the fish fauna are carried out, to evaluate the variety and abundance of the species and the seasonality of their distribution. From time to time specific monitoring campaigns are conducted with particular attention to the Natura 2000 species present in the Gulf of Trieste. This is done with the aim of improving knowledge and implementing the archive of data that has already been collected. This data is then integrated with other national and Adriatic databases, in order to understand the dynamics of the populations of protected species, sedentary or otherwise, which are present in the Gulf.
In this case, the monitoring transects that are conducted on behalf of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region go well beyond the protected body of water. They extend along the entire Gulf of Trieste, in the stretch between ‘Punta Sdobba’ and ‘Punta Sottile’, and in some cases up to at the limits of the waters of the region.


E39 Utmar light

discover the species and habitats of miramare mpa

Among the Natura 2000 species present in the Gulf of Trieste, in addition to cetaceans and sea turtles, one of the most closely monitored species is Pinna nobilis. This species is included in the IUCN Red List also due to the widespread deaths caused by a bacterium that is decimating this clam throughout the Mediterranean and which since 2019 has also reached the Gulf of Trieste. Constant monitoring activities are also carried out for the numerous species of protected marine avifauna, such as the European shag, sandwich tern, loons and terns.

Finally, the monitoring of species and habitats of community interest focuses on the distribution of sea grass meadows (Cymodocea nodosa) in the Gulf of Trieste, which have been in sharp decline here since 2015


In parallel with the monitoring of Natura 2000 species, constant sampling of the benthic and algal community is conducted, with the support of the OGS (the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics), and is useful to define and periodically update the map- ping of sediments and biocoenosis of the Miramare MPA.
Cystoseira crinita Versione 2
Thanks to the long term collaboration with the National Institute of Oceanography and Exper- imental Geophysics, field trips are periodically carried out using the Miramare MPA’s boats to support activities involved in the sampling of sea water at various stations in the Gulf. This is done in order to achieve GES (Good Environmental Status), or rather the good environmental state required by the Marine Strategy regulated by the Directive ref. 2008/56 /CE and subse- quently implemented in Italy with Legislative Decree no. 190 of 13 October 2010.


In addition to the census and monitoring activities, projects are carried out for the restoration of some endangered species that have disappeared from the Reserve and the Gulf of Trieste. This is the case, in particular, of the marine forests of cystoseira, a brown algae that has now almost disappeared from the Gulf, and object of the LIFE ROC-POPLife European project aimed at recolonizing the depths of the Reserve, restoring not only an underwater landscape of un- doubted aesthetic value but also a habitat of high naturalistic value known for providing valuable ecosystem services.

Translation by Vicki Ann Holder