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EAF Nansen Program

In May 2018, the James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute participated in the scientific cruise DFN2018406 on board of the new R/V Dr Fridtjof Nansen, launched in 2017 by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). In collaboration with the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) of Bergen (Norway) and the FAO, in the framework of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) program, the BERI collected biogeochemical data as part of a multidisciplinary cruise aiming at “Characterizing the Marine Ecosystem and Morphology of the Saya de Malha and Nazareth Banks”. Mauritian, Russian and Seychellois scientists carried out oceanographic and habitat mapping work on the Mascarene banks located in the Joint Management Area (JMA) shared between Seychelles and Mauritius and the Mauritian EEZ.

Sampling covered the following aspects:

  • Geomorphology, benthic habitats and benthos (Multibeam mapping in subareas and along pre-determined transects, habitat and benthos studies emphasizing sandy subareas and subareas with macroalgae, seagrass and coral),
  • Fish and crustacean resources (density mapping with acoustic and optical technologies, emphasizing commercial and exotic species),
  • Physical and chemical oceanography, including Ocean Acidification-related measurements of pH and Total Alkalinity (onboard measurements).
  • Occurrence of marine debris and microplastics.