SEA MARVEL - Save, Enhance, Admire Marine Versatile Life

Priority Axis 3

Project in Numbers

Duration: 36 mounths

Start Date: 14.11.2020

End Date: 30.11.2023

Partner N.: 2

Project progress:

Total Budget: 2.198.424,21 €
ERDF Contribution of which: 1.868.660,58 €

The SEA MARVEL project aims to raise awareness of the risks of the marine ecosystem and mitigate the effects of plastic pollution, exploitation of marine resources, invasion of alien species and the effects of climate change in order to maintain and reactivate the marine ecosystem and Natura 2000 protected sites. The assessment of biodiversity in the Italian-Maltese Sea is crucial to better understand the impact of climate and environmental change in the Mediterranean.

Field work will be carried out that will evaluate the presence and distribution of vulnerable indicator species, alien species and plastic waste at the selected Natura 2000 sites (AMP Cyclops Islands, AMP Pelagie Islands, AMP Capo Milazzo and RNO Foce Simeto in Sicily - Ghar Lapsi and Filfla Area and the area around the island of Gozo in Malta). The project's interventions will give the opportunity to develop direct experiences, in the form of competitions between the new generations, participatory actions for coastal communities for the development of sustainable management plans, and the launch of the "Sea Sentinels” service: monitoring with sailors, applying Citizen Science.

The managers of Natura 2000 sites, environmental NGOs, professional artisanal anglers, municipalities, ministries of the environment and education will be supported, to improve their impact on Natura 2000 sites, reducing the loss of biodiversity with innovative equipment and devices, spreading knowledge and awareness among visitors and the neighboring population.



Expected Results:

- 42,49 sq. km of protected marine areas and sites developing joint actions for the protection of biodiversity;
- 7,500 people, including local population and visitors to Natura 2000 sites, became aware of the aspects of biodiversity's richness and fragility
- 3 Target communities (anglers, sailors and ferry crews) sensitized to better services and participation actions, such as the Sentinel of the Sea service.

SEA MARVEL aims to help halt the loss of marine biodiversity in the cross-border area by improving the effectiveness of Natura 2000 sites, the awareness and knowledge of stakeholders about the precious and versatile marine life that needs conservation through participation in more responsible behaviour and the mitigation of serious impacts from plastic and alien species.


The project activities will carry out:

- 424,938 hectares of Natura 2000 sites monitored for indicator species and aliens species research
- 424,938 hectares of Natura 2000 sites monitored for plastic and micro plastic debris analysis
- 100 young people trained on up-to-date conservation techniques and technologies
- 1 IT infrastructure to share data on monitored indicators
- 1 Report with 6 management guides for Natura 2000 sites monitored
- 200 young students in natural and marine science subjects trained on site characteristics and challenges to be subsequently involved in awareness-raising and dissemination activities
- 10 awareness-raising projects disseminated in schools with the support of selected NGOs, trained students and associated partners
- 3 challenges organized to involve schools and create, at cross-border level, a common sense of belonging and care for marine resources as a common good
- 6 educational toolkits shared between Malta and Sicilia
- 6 interventions to reduce the amount of plastic debris with the placement of "marine baskets" at selected Natura 2000 sites
- 15 Schools adopting a "plastic free" protocol at cross-border level to reduce the use of plastics
- 50 vessels equipped to "serve" as Sentinels of the Sea
- 3 ferry crews trained to become Sentinels of the Sea
- 50 sailboat crews sensitized to become Sea Sentinels during regattas

Project Lead Partner:

Università degli Studi di Catania - Dipartimento di Agricoltura, Alimentazione e Ambiente - Sezione di Economia Agroalimentare


Project Partners:

University of Malta - Department of Biology/Conservation Biology Research Group



    Rassegna Stampa

    progetto Sea Marvel__NEWSSICILIA_19.02

    Progetto Sea Marvel_Sicilia Report_19.02.22

    Progetto Sea Marvel- Catania News_19.02

    Università degli Studi di Catania

    Piazza Università n. 2 - 95131, Catania Italia


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