Since 1982, we have been carrying out at the University of Valencia research on Conservation Biology and Parasitology of fish, reptiles and marine mammals. Our investigations have an important applied orientation, because of their relevance for management and conservation of marine species and the protection of their habitats, but we do not neglect basic research aspects focusing on evolutionary and ecological processes, particularly in the context of host-parasite associations.
INDICIT is a project funded by the European Union. The consortium, composed of researchers from 7 different countries, is committed to support the implementation of EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and other international environmental policies aiming at protecting the marine environment (especially the Barcelona convention, the OSPAR convention, the HELCOM etc). INDICIT focuses on the Descriptor 10 of the MSFD (“Marine Litter”), which aims to maintain or achieve the Good Environmental Status (GES) of the marine environment by 2020 with respect to marine litter. The overarching aim is to develop a set of standardized tools for monitoring the impacts of litter on marine fauna as bio-indicators: Indicator 1 “macro-litter ingested by sea turtle (debris items >5 mm)”, Indicator 2 “Marine wildlife entanglement in debris (all taxa)” and Indicator 3 “micro-litter ingested by fish/ sea turtle (debris items <1mm)”.
The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive considers marine litter as one of the most concerning causes of pollution of the sea and states that the Good Environmental State is reached when “properties and quantities of marine litter do not cause harm to the coastal and marine environment”. Similar consideration has been done by the Mediterranean Countries that adopted the Barcelona Convention in which ensuring that marine litter does not affect biodiversity and ecosystem services has been incorporated as a main ecological objective. Although many Mediterranean organisations are working on this issue, there is not any widely-accepted protocols to assess pollution by marine litter. For this reasons, MEDSEALITTER proposes to network representative MPAs, scientific organizations and environmental NGOs for developing, testing and delivering efficient, easy to apply and cost-effective protocols to monitor and manage litter impact on biodiversity.
The TREPAQUAMED project is focused on the study of the trasnsmission and life cycles of those trematodes (Platyhelminthes) related with pathologies in Mediterranean fish cultures. We also will study how their life cycles are modified by the seasonality and environmental changes. The cycle of these parasites is very sensitive to external variables, which, joined to the high Mediterranean environmental variability, makes them ideal models for studying the possible impact of global change on the transmission of parasites.
The Marine Biology Unit of the Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology receives the Biodiversity and Society award in the form of Research Applied to the Conservation of Biodiversity by the Generalitat Valenciana. The jury praised the contribution of the Unit of the University of Valencia to scientific knowledge of the populations of cetaceans and sea turtles in the Valencian coast, as well as the maintenance for 25 years of the Cetacean and Sea Turtles stranding network.
Valencia (Spain), from 31st of August to 4th of September 2015
A new Excellence Network of High Cooperative Research Institutes of Valencian Comunity (ISIC) in Research and Development in Aquaculture Pathology (REVIDPAQUA) has been created with support from the Department of Education of the Generalitat Valenciana. This network is a strategic, coordinated action of four research groups in aquatic pathogens at the University of Valencia (UV), Miguel Hernández University (UMH) and the Institute of Aquaculture “Torre de la Sal” of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) with PROMETEO excellence programs. Two of them (UV and CSIC) have been selected as partners Microcluster of “Sustainability Studies Aquatic Resources” (AQUACLUSTER) the “Campus of Valencia” (VLC Campus).
The Education Department of the Valencian Regional Government finance the project “Long-term changes in the abundance, trophic ecology and simbiontic metazoan fauna of dolphins and sea turtles in the Valencian waters: conservation in a global change context” into the PROMETEO excellence programe.
The FP7 from EU (Marie Curie Actions) finance the project “Long-term research on sea turtle ecology and conservation” submitted by the Marine Zoology Unit.
The Marine Zoology Unit received from the Social Council of the University of Valencia the University-Society Prize awarded to the best R&D group of the year.