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Last updateMon, 11 Nov 2019 1pm

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The ResCap project keeps on recovering by-catch gorgonians

The ResCap project has been renewed. Along 2018, 450 gorgonians have been returned to the continental shelf in the Cap de Creus (Girona). After a year of close cooperation between scientists and fishermen, the team will keep on recovering the by-catch gorgonians along 2019.

A gorgonian is taken back to the sea, after being fixed to grow on a  stone The project is led by the Instituto de Ciencias del Mar of Barcelona (ICM-CSIC), in collaboration with the fishermen of Port de la Selva and Cadaqués, the Cap de Creus Natural Park. It is funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund within the Pleamar Program, which is coordinated in Spain by the Fundación Biodiversidad of the Ministry for Ecological Transition.

Scientists from the Instituto de Ciencias del Mar of Barcelona (ICM-CSIC) and fishermen from Port de la Selva and Cadaqués will work together again in the ResCap Project, aimed at recovering gorgonian populations by ecological restoration and reducing the environmental impact of fishing practices.

Last year, fishermen and scientists were been working closely. That experience and the synergy established between them has made possible to renew the project ResCap for another year. The team now is monitoring the gorgonians replanted last year, which will also allow assessing their medium-term survival.

Gorgonians play an essential ecological role in the marine ecosystems. They form complex three-dimensional structures where crustacean, fish larvae and juveniles can find shelter and food. Similarly to the forests on land, gorgonian constitute high biodiversity environments, promoting the exchange of matter and energy between the water column and the marine bottom.

Knowing and preserving these communities is essential to maintain the marine biodiversity, and to improve sustainability of artisanal fisheries.