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Concarneau Marine Station view from the port © MNHN - Aodren Le Gal


Observation and monitoring of ecosystems, a century-old tradition at the station, are indispensable tools for the knowledge of the environments, their management and their protection.

Monitoring and inventories of the marine fauna and flora of the Manche-Atlantique facade are part of a long tradition that has its origins since the creation of the station, making it possible to carry out the marine animal and plant species’ census of the Concarneau region (especially in Baie de la Forêt). This monitoring will lead to the publication of flora and fauna inventories, and descriptions of new species and reproduction cycles of organisms (Gillet de Grandmont, 1864, Pouchet, 1889; Crouan & Crouan, 1867; Fabre-Domergue & Bietrix, 1897; Guérin-Ganivet, 1912).

The skills developed as part of the research carried out at the station are also used for marine ecosystem expertise, in particular through monitoring and inventories carried out as part of regulatory frameworks (EU Framework Directives (European Union), DCE (Framework Directive on water), MSFD (Framework Directive and Marine Environment Strategy), DHFF (Flora Fauna Habitat Directive), or regional with the animation of surveillance networks (REBENT- Bretagne for more than 15 years) or by the completion of ZNIEFF-MER inventories. All these devices constitute the foundation for the development of national ecological indicators. Observations and long-term monitoring are essential to understand the impact of global change on marine ecosystems (biodiversity erosion, changes in communities, pollution, overexploitation of resources, eutrophication, anthropization, etc.).

The expertise also applies to:

  • CNPMEM (National Fisheries Committee) for opinions on the management of national fish resources,
  • ICES (International Committee for the Exploration of the Sea) for the preparation of Fisheries Opinions, which are proposed to the European Commission,
  • IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) for the development of the Red Lists of Threatened Marine Species.

Concerted actions with local stakeholders (fisheries, aquaculture, etc.) also lead to the development of traceability techniques for seafood products. This expertise responds to a strong societal demand.

Scientific team leaving from the port of Concarneau © MNHN - Aodren Le Gal
Scientifics team ready for a scientific dive © MNHN - René Derrien
Scientific conducting a survey on quadrats © MNHN - Sandrine Derrien
 A quadrat found in the coastal circalittoral zone © MNHN - Sandrine Derrien
A label on transect marking the survey area (- 8 metres) and the number of quadrats to be carried out © MNHN - Sandrine Derrien
Laminar field dominated by the species Laminaria hyperborea in Ouessant (Iroise, Finistère) © MNHN - René Derrien