The Marine Protected Area of the Gulf of Lion

The Marine Natural Park of the Gulf of Lion was established in 2011 under the hospice of the French Agency for Marine Protected Areas. The Park aims at becoming a reference area for knowledge acquisition and monitoring of the marine environment and ecosystems, as well a for the dissemination of information to the stakeholders and general public.

It encompasses 4019 km2 including the head of three submarine canyons, the Lacaze-Duhiers and Boucart and Pruvost canyons. These canyon heads are among the habitats of particular biological and ecological significance of the Marine Park. Of particular interest are the abundance gradients of Lophelia pertusa (reported as rare in the Mediterranean Sea) and Madrepora oculata, with both depth and distance from the canyon head.

Carte PMNHL enjeux ressources naturelles 1400

In this context, the chair established a parternship in 2015, focusing on the monitoring of cold water coral biocenoses. It aims at transferring knowledge and methods to optimize this key target of the MPA management plan.