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Identifying causes of stress in Maltese, Sicilian marine habitats

Prof. Alan Deidun (left) addressing the Harmony project kick-off meeting, with University of Palermo rector Prof. Enrico Miccari.

Prof. Alan Deidun (left) addressing the Harmony project kick-off meeting, with University of Palermo rector Prof. Enrico Miccari.

A new project has been launched aimed at identifying common causes of stress in priority marine habitats in Marine Protected Areas in Malta and Sicily. The 30-month project, entitled Harmony, will also aim to harmonise as much as possible ongoing efforts to monitor non-indigenous species and the seafloor integrity of these areas in line with the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

The Sicilian project partners are the University of Palermo – which is co-ordinating the project – ISPRA, CNRS-IAMC and the Regional Fishing Directorate. The Maltese partners are the University of Malta, the Environment and Resources Authority and the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

The University of Malta will be responsible for designing and managing the project website, besides contributing to field sampling and analyses to be conducted over the next few months.

The project partners recently held their first meeting at the University of Palermo at which the University of Malta was represented by Prof. Alan Deidun and by Dr Adam Gauci, both from the Department of Geosciences. The next project meeting will be held in Malta in September.

The project is funded under the Interreg V-A Italia-Malta Operational Programme (2014-2020).

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