Posidonia mon amour: the seaweed that bewitched Rio Mare

posidoniaPosidonia is a very important seaweed because it performs a dual function: on the one hand, it allows the sea to oxygenate, and on the other hand, it protects the coastline from erosion. In the Egadi Marine Protected Area, this plant is a real star: the expanse of posidonia there covers as much as 6,500 hectares and is the largest in the Mediterranean, a real boon for diving enthusiasts. In addition, one specimen was found with a leaf over two meters long, an all-time record (compared to the average leaf size of 50 cm).

A HERITAGE ALSO DEFENDED BY PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS

Defending the posidonia from the threat of trawling in the Egadi Islands has now been joined by private individuals: Rio Mare, a well-known Italian seafood food company, has decided to support the Marine Protected Area with a three-year project aimed at safeguarding biodiversity and encouraging sustainable management of the area’s natural resources. The initiative, one of the first of its kind carried out by private individuals in Italy in support of a marine protected area, provides funding for 3 projects, the first specifically to protect Posidonia Oceanica, the “green lung” of the Mediterranean, through the placement of 72 bollards aimed at inhibiting trawling under the coast and increasing fish fauna. The 72 bollards are in addition to the 72 already installed in 2013 with funds from the Ministry of the Environment and which have already proven their effectiveness, as confirmed by the monitoring carried out by the Marine Protected Area, the Harbour Master’s Office and ENEA – the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development.

POSIDONIA BUT NOT ONLY

The other two projects are no less important:
The management of the Monk Seal Observatory at Punta Troia Castle in Marettimo to monitor the presence of this species, the most vulnerable in the Mediterranean, in the archipelago. The initiative is being developed alongside studies conducted by researchers at the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA).

The management of the first Sea Turtle Recovery Center in Favignana to rescue and shelter injured or distressed specimens that will be housed in special tanks before being cared for and returned to freedom at the end of their convalescence. In addition, the center will also be able to serve as a visitor center and CEA (Environmental Education Center) teaching laboratory.

The initiative is an expression of Rio Mare’s broader Corporate Social Responsibility project called “Responsible Quality,” launched in 2011 and aimed at offering consumers all-round quality pursued throughout the supply chain, respecting the environment and people, from sea to table.

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