Scientific research


Since the creation of the Pangatalan Marine Protected Area in 2016, several scientific operations have been carried out thanks to our partners and their very specific techniques: photogrammetry, acoustics and PCC of post-larvae fish.

Our goals

Better understanding of ecosystems

Being a scientific platform

Analyze the evolution of marine environments

Testing innovative biological monitoring techniques

Coral reef photogrammetry

Photogrammetry is a technique that makes three dimensional maps of a landscape by using the parallax of images obtained from different angles. Our partner Andromede Oceanologie has mastered and developed this technique on the reefs of Shark Fin Bay, in order to monitor their health. During the Sea Academy project, Andromede Oceanologie will monitor three sites of 150m2 within marine protected areas to observe their evolution in a protected environment.

Acoustic analysis of coral reefs

Continuous passive listening of the reefs is used to assess the activity and health of these sites. Non-visible species can be identified by recognising certain sounds. Sound triangulation allows us to locate them and map the reef’s activity as well as human activity (boats, dynamite). Our partner, the Chorus Research Institute, has mastered and developed this technique, and as part of the Sea Academy project, Chorus will monitor several sites in Shark Fin Bay, focusing on fish and invertebrates.

Listening to marine animal sounds

PCC Post-larval Capture and Culture

Most marine animals (especially coastal fish and crustaceans) experience a post-larval mortality rate of over 90% during the first week of coastal reef colonisation (Doherty et al, 2004; Planes et al 2002; Planes and Lecaillon 2001).
(Doherty et al, 2004; Planes et al 2002; Planes and Lecaillon 2001). In order to increase survival rates, our partner Ecocean is developing PCC techniques: capturing post-larvae at their most vulnerable stage and then releasing them into safe areas after they have grown for 2 to 3 months. This process increases reef fish populations. As part of the Sea Academy project, our foundation applies this technique to repopulate the 3 marine protected areas and Shark Fin Bay. Monitoring allows us to estimate the survival rate of the released fish and their migration in the bay.

Environmental DNA

The protocol involves taking two samples (100mL) of filtered seawater from the study area and sending them to a genetic analysis laboratory, which analyses the DNA from the samples and identifies traces left by species for which the genome is already known. This method helps to identify the presence of non-visible species, and is an interesting complement to other techniques that are limited to identifying species during dives, by image analysis or by sound recording analysis.

Marine protected area monitoring

We monitor in and around the 3 marine protected areas to assess the effects of the protection. This monitoring consists of a visual census of fish, invertebrates and coral cover, accompanied by videos for records. They are carried out every year.