news INITIATIVE: Biodiversity and Sustainable Development in the Strait of Sicily website

University of Malta

University of Malta, Msida MSD 2080, Malta, Msida, Malta

The project aims at supporting the monitoring of pollution at sea in the strait of Siciliy and so contributing to future legislation at national and European level.
The harmful effects of pollution from shipping operations is not currently sufficiently monitored, evaluated and managed. The project involves the study and analysis of maritime traffic in the Strait of Sicily, the emissions produced by it and the biophysical consequences of these emissions on the local flora and fauna. In parallel there will be a financial assessment of the negative impact caused to marine and coastal ecosystems in the strait of Sicily. The Department of Mechanical Engineering together with the University of Catania and ARPA Sicilia is involved in the design and construction of an underwater vessel (towfish) that will be equipped with various sensors and underwater cameras. The sensors that are envisaged to be on board the towfish include sensors for the detection of hydrocarbons, sensors for temperature mesurement, sensors for Ph level measurement, sensors for salinity levels and sensors for nitrate levels in seawater. The towfish is envisaged to be used u!
p to a depth of 50m below sea level to map the various levels of pollutants over a large area in the strait of Siciliy. The HD cameras on board the towfish are to be used for getting images of Jellyfish, zooplankton and phytoplankton at various depths and over different areas.
The project is to create operational tools to support local and European administrators and operators of maritime traffic whose mission is to limit the harmful effects of pollution generated by shipping and fishing in the Strait of Sicily. These tools include a system for measuring biophysical risk of loss of biodiversity in the Strait of Sicily and can be used to measure the economic evaluation of the harmful effects of pollution on coastal communities. The tools can be used to support port authorities and other competent bodies so that measures can be taken to balance off the effect of pollution coming from shipping. This in accordance with the provisions of international and local legislation and EU directives.
  • Finalised
Geographical coverage
  • National/local
Intended Users
  • Administrations/Authorities
  • Organisations/Associations
  • Researchers and scientists
Source of funding
  • Public funding
  • Private funding
Country of project partners
  • Italy
  • Malta