Thematic focuses

The major issues of the Oceanographic Institute

Corals

Did you know that corals are animals and not plants? That they live in symbiosis with algae and have many genes in common with humans? As fascinating as they are fragile, these living beings have unsuspected capacities that are essential to the good health of the coral reefs they build, invaluable reservoirs of life for the ocean.
These grandiose buildings are an important foundation for the marine life of the tropics. They are essential to the lives of hundreds of millions of people, providing their daily food and livelihoods, protecting shorelines when the ocean is rough. But they are now threatened by certain human activities: fishing with explosives, pollution from the land, and especially massive emissions of greenhouse gases.

Corail Cerveau
Aurelia aurita Michel Dagnino
Aurelia aurita © Michel Dagnino - Institut Océanographique de Monaco

Jellyfish

A simple yet complex organism, the jellyfish is often feared by bathers but fascinates scientists. Yet their survival and reproductive abilities seem to be unparalleled. Some of them would even be immortal. Graceful and fragile in appearance, they adapt to marine pollution, take advantage of the excesses of fishing and gradually conquer our seas.

The SHARKS

After 400 million years of dominating the oceans, shark populations have declined by %.in the last 50 years. Sharks are the keystone of marine ecosystems, ensuring their balance and vitality. If sharks were to become extinct or scarce, ecosystems would be disrupted and many other species would be threatened. Our ignorance and greed could then quickly backfire by destabilizing our fisheries, and reducing the richness of the oceans we value so much.

Turtles

Since their return to the marine environment 155 million years ago, turtles have been able to
adapt to major changes in climate and marine environments and
coastal areas. Today, man is forcing them to change much more rapidly.
Unlike other species such as tuna or sharks, the decline of
turtle populations is not just a matter of overexploitation.

ATLANTIC BLUEFIN TUNA

Sought after for its meat since ancient times, Atlantic bluefin tuna is now fetching record prices, not least because of a worldwide craze for sushi and sashimi. This “goose that lays the golden eggs” excites the covetousness and unleashes the passions. Due to overfishing, the marine populations of this highly migratory species have declined to such an extent that an international management plan has had to be put in place. This is beginning to bear fruit, but stocks remain fragile and have not been replenished. The Principality of Monaco is taking action to ensure the survival of this emblematic species of the Mediterranean, a concrete example of the issues and challenges of managing the resources offered to us by the Ocean, and a perfect illustration of our difficulty in consuming in a sustainable manner. It is in this context that the Oceanographic Institute offers you this special report on bluefin tuna, and to highlight the initiatives and federative actions of the Principality of Monaco in this area.

Thunnus Thynnus In Mediterranean Sea
Thunnus Thynnus In Mediterranean Sea
océan et santé

Ocean and health

The Institute of Oceanography is naturally concerned with the relationship between our health, the ocean and preserved biodiversity. Because the Ocean is a source of solutions!

The Ocean heals us, thanks to the molecules produced by marine organisms, and this is just the beginning, as marine organisms can quickly play a role similar to that of their terrestrial cousins for centuries!

Thon Rouge Restaurant

Sustainable consumption

Health & Ocean

The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting unusual situation are particularly difficult times. Paradoxically, it is also an opportunity to question the relationship between human health and the environment around us…

The Institute of Oceanography is naturally concerned with the relationship between our health, the ocean and preserved biodiversity. Because the Ocean is a source of solutions!

The Ocean heals us, thanks to the molecules produced by marine organisms, and this is just the beginning, as marine organisms can quickly play a role similar to that of their terrestrial cousins for centuries!

Marine organisms are also used as study models because they often have characteristics close to the ideal model organism (prolific in embryos, simple and reproducible cell lineage, often external embryonic development, etc.). They have led to major discoveries in the varied fields of physiology, medicine and chemistry, including several Nobel prizes.

Everyday good health starts with a healthy and balanced diet. Every day, the ocean provides some of the elements that our metabolism needs, but the quality of the environment must be preserved!

Santé & Océan
Exemple d'aire marine protégée

PROTECTED MARINE AREAS

According to experts, the Ocean could recover substantially by 2050, if major pressures, including climate change, are mitigated. Preserving and rebuilding marine life is a great and achievable challenge for mankind, an ethical obligation and a smart economic goal to achieve a sustainable future.

Marine Protected Areas (designated by the acronym “MPAs”) are among the solutions to be implemented, rapidly and massively, to safeguard marine ecosystems. The Principality of Monaco is campaigning for the creation of Marine Protected Areas that are representative of sensitive ecosystems, connected, efficiently managed, sufficiently financed and linked to other solutions. By 2030, 30% of the world’s marine areas should benefit from strong protection and 100% of the ocean should be properly managed.

See also