Marine and Polar


Tree ophiurids

 The on-going project FFEM-SWIO focuses on Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) of the South West Indian Ocean (SWIO).

The overall objective of the project is to improve scientific knowledge, to better understand the potential links between local and regional fishing resources of the Indian South West Ocean, to improve governance and to develop integrated management tools for ABNJ, in order to better conserve biodiversity associated with seamount and hydrothermal vent ecosystems.

The specific objectives are: 

To advance the state of knowledge of deep sea marine ecosystems associated with hydrothermal vents and seamounts as well as their interrelationship with local and regional fish populations; to document the link between coastal ecosystems and oceanic ecosystems of areas beyond national jurisdiction in order to increase the involvement of coastal states in the governance of the high seas; 

To improve and strengthen the governance framework for the management of fish stocks associated with deep sea ecosystems including the monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing activities;

To develop governance frameworks for the conservation of biodiversity and the preservation of different types of habitats in this marine region, especially with regards to the possibility of offshore mineral exploration and exploitation activities; 

To suggest sound conservation and management measures for deep sea ecosystems in areas beyond national jurisdiction, especially with regards to the creation of networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) in this region of the global ocean;

To raise awareness of policy makers, the fishing and mining industries and the general public on the importance of preserving marine deep sea life.


FFEM-SWIO Project (2014-2017)FFEM-SWIO Project (2014-2017)
The project is funded by the French Global Environmental Funds (Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial - FFEM). It is the follow-up of the 2009-2013 Seamounts Project. The  FFEM-SWIO  project  aims to support science advance knowledge, to develop governance framework and sustainable management tools for the seamount ecosystems, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the University of Oxford - the principal sources of co-financing, and the four main executive partners : the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), l'Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) and the University of Oxford.


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