COCONET PRESS RELEASE
FIRST COCONET GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Over 100 experts gathered to evaluate the activities of the first year of CoCoNet at the General Assembly held at CNR Sede Centrale, Rome on 29-30 January 2013. The in-depth discussion was made by the Black Sea and Mediterranean experts to achieve the ultimate goal of CoCoNet, the scientific and managerial connectivity of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The first year was spent mostly to establish the scientific base of the project and to build a collaborative network of researchers in the region, north and south, east and west, through a number of workshops and meetings. These scientific bases will be tried upon for the pilot projects in the Adriatic Sea and the Western Black Sea during the coming two years. Therefore, both Adriatic and Black Sea pilot project teams exchanged information for their surveys for habitat mapping and genetic studies which will take place this summer.
DISCOVERIES IN THE ADRIATIC SEA
In the Adriatic Sea, a deep sea study with ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle) started during the research cruise on an Italian research vessel Urania. As a pilot project of CoCoNet, experts from Albania, Croatia, Italy, Monaco and Montenegro joined this survey in November 2012. They found assemblages of white corals in the depth of 400-500m for the first time off the coast of Montenegro. Research was made also in Boka Kotorska Bay on a specific habitat "vrulje". Another important finding was chimneys in the deep sea canyons for the first time in the Adriatic Sea.
These discoveries are important in terms of site selection of MPAs in the Adriatic Sea.
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