Sampling of Maltese waters recently started as part of a nine-month field survey to assess and monitor the impact of stressors on priority benthic habitats in Malta and Sicily. Alan Deidun and Adam Gauci from the University of Malta’s Department of Geosciences are contributing to the field sampling and analyses.
The surveys are part of the 30-month-long Harmony project, which aims to identify common stressors in priority marine habitats in selected Marine Protected Areas in Malta and Sicily, and to streamline and to harmonise as much possible ongoing monitoring efforts conducted in Sicily and in Malta related to Descriptor 2 (non-indigenous species) and Descriptor 5 (seafloor integrity) of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).
The local project partners are the University of Malta, the Environment and Resources Authority and the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, while those in Sicily are the University of Palermo, ISPRA, CNRS-IAMC and the Regional Fishing Directorate. The project is funded under the framework of Interreg V-A Italia-Malta Operational Programme (2014-2020).
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