Sampling of benthic communities and mobile epifauna, crabs, fish and shrimps have been carried out in May 2014 at four sampling sites: Ancona (7th-8th May), Trieste (12th-13th May), Venice (19th-21th May) and Bari (26th-27th May). Picture is showing benthos sampling “grattage” by the scuba divers of the Italian Coast Guard (Ancona port). Written by Dr. Fabio Grati
Field work was coordinated by ISMAR-CNR in Ancona and Venice. Sampling of benthos in Trieste have been carried out by OGS Trieste and in Bari by ISMAR-CNR in synergy with ISPRA Roma. Sampling of fish community have been performed by ISMAR-CNR everywhere.
Figure 1: Fish and mobile fauna sampling (Ancona port)
Underwater samplings of benthos living both on vertical hard substrates (docks and pylons) and on soft bottoms were performed by the scuba divers of the Italian Coast Guard, using the “grattage” technique (20x20 cm frame) and a hand corer (18 cm diameter and 30 cm length), respectively. In each sampling site three sampling station were selected by the scientific team in consultation with port authority and in each station three transects were sampled. In each vertical transect three quota were chosen according to depths. In each horizontal transect two hand corers were taken: one at 50 m from vertical transect and one at 1 m from vertical transect. The material collected by scuba divers was separated from the mud-sand and preserved in formalin.
Figure 2: Lab activities in Venice
Fish community, mollusks and crustaceans were collected using a trammel net (inner mesh size 70 mm and outer mesh size 400 mm, length 50 m and height 3 m) and 3 traps baited with sardines in each sampling station. Catch was identified at the species level, measured and weighed. Visual census was not possible either because the scuba divers of the Coast Guard were not skilled to do that and because the visibility was too low.
Figure 3: Fish and mobile fauna sampling (Venice port)