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UNDERWATER AND SEMI-SUBMERGED CAVES ON THE CORSICAN COASTLINE

12.03.2015

CREOCEAN's work to study the Corsican coastal caves has been highlighted internationally thanks to the publication of a scientific article bringing together available information on underwater caves for the entire Mediterranean Sea. This article was published on 14/10/2014 in the PLOS ONE journal.

Actually, after agreement from the local DREAL (regional environment, planning and accommodation board), CREOCEAN sent the author of this article, Vasilis Gerovasileiou, its summary of the important work carried out, namely a map pinpointing sea caves throughout Corsica. Sensitive data (exact position, presence of rare species, etc.) was not sent in order to protect these sensitive habitats. As a reminder, the Corsican DREAL entrusted a study to CREOCEAN in 2009 to list the underwater and semi-submerged caves along the Corsican coastline according to experts. This study was able to list 176 caves along the Corsican coast of which 25 were not Natura 2000 marine or coastal sites.

In 2011, the DREAL wished to draw up a landscaping index of underwater caves on the one hand and on the other to continue prospecting and proposing measures for managing obscure and mid-coastal caves in two Natura 200 sectors namely the Gulf of Ajaccio and the Scandola sites, thereby giving representative samples of caves in these areas.

The study to inspect underwater and semi-submerged caves on the Corsican coast and Créocéan’s proposed management measures had the following goals:

- drawing up a landscape index working from the 13 underwater caves prospected in 2010 and 2011 and new caves inspected within the framework of this contract in order to obtain a classification for comparison.

- inspecting underwater (obscure) and semi-submerged (mid-coastal) caves judged to be a priority due to their location on a Natura 2000 marine site (for which target documents were launched during 2011) and their ecological and heritage importance;

- listing the species present and indicating the type of habitats, counting their presence and the threats to them;

- proposing management methods to be used as the basis for discussions led in the Natura 2000 steering committee.

The scientific article can be downloaded from the link below.

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