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Improvement of the Tropical Sea Sciences Research Potential in Western Indian Ocean, and of the Technology Capacities in La Reunion Island

Final Report Summary - RUN SEA SCIENCE (Improvement of the Tropical Sea Sciences Research Potential in Western Indian Ocean, and of the Technology Capacities in La Reunion Island)

Executive Summary:

The RUN Sea Science project is part of the European Union's Seventh Framework Capacities Programme. This project is coordinated by the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD) located in Reunion Island, a French overseas department.
Growing of human pressure on habitats and marine resources in a context of global change is leading to a decrease of biodiversity and fish stock in oceans and coastal areas. Maintaining the integrity of the marine environment including reefs is of major interest in Western Indian Ocean (WIO) states among which Reunion Island is the only and the furthest outermost region from the European Union.
The objectives of IRD and the RUN Sea Science project are to enhance the local critic mass and skill of researchers in sea sciences, to increase the visibility of the local teams at regional and international levels, including EU, and to fill technological gaps. The final objective to which the project wishes to contribute is to support the creation of the excellence pole in sea sciences in Reunion Island.
In order to meet the objectives of the project, IRD has implemented five lines of actions. The main results of the project are summarised here under:

- Improvement of material capacities:
IRD purchased various specific equipments. These equipments are enabling the development of research programmes that use specific technologies such as genetics and DNA banking, otolithometry, environmental chemistry data recording, bio-logging, aquaculture.

- Improvement of human capacities:
The scientists hired helped IRD and its research partners, to conduct the objectives of the programme that could not have been achieved without them. These jobs creations are an outstanding contribution to the Reunion's scientific expansion. At the end of the project, several of these researchers carried on with their research with new contracts.

- Dissemination:
In order to forge links between science and society, a leaflet summarising the activities and the scientific themes supported by the project has been edited. It was distributed to every events related to marine sciences.
Creation of a web-site ( presenting the project and its activities. It is now rich with various scientific and general public documents.
A 16 minutes documentary was also produced and shows the actions and the impacts of the RUN Sea Science actions in Reunion Island. The documentary will be distributed to all partners of RUN Sea Science and to local and continental and European authorities (500 copies).

- Symposiums and Seminar:
The RUN Sea Science project has made a significant contribution to the organisation of the Sixth International Scientific Symposium of the WIOMSA (Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association), which was held for the first time in Reunion Island and brought together 470 participants from 29 countries around the theme of marine ecosystems. A smaller-scale seminar has been also organised on the theme of aquaculture. IRD also participates to the organization of a Summer school on oceanology. IRD also organised a closing seminar presenting the results of the three years project.

- Exchange of experience and setting-up of a network of researchers:
The RUN Sea Science project enabled the organisation of research assignments of duration of one to eight weeks, into Reunion Island for recognised scientists from abroad and out to foreign partners countries for scientists based in Reunion Island. Overall 17 exchanges and 7 short-term trainings have been organised with countries from the Outermost Regions of the European Union, E.U and ICPC countries.
These actions conducted during the RUN Sea Science project had major positive impacts on IRD in WIO and will be carried over after the end of the project. Indeed, the RUN Sea Science actions allowed IRD and its fellow partners of the sea science community in Reunion to strengthen the research capacity.

Project Context and Objectives:
1. Project objectives
Three strategic goals have been defined in order to meet the scientific and political stakes:
- Enhance the local critic mass and skill of researchers in sea sciences,
- Increase the visibility of the teams at regional and international levels, including EU,
- Unlock the technologic gaps that limit scientific activities in the Reunion Island.
The final objectives to which the project contributed was to support the creation of a sea sciences excellence pole in the Reunion Island, in order to help the economic and social sectors to develop.
In order to accomplish these strategic goals, IRD developed the following specific measurable objectives in the frame of the RUN Sea Science project:

1.1 Reinforce the S&T capacities of the Reunion Island

The RUN Sea Science project tried to achieve the following objectives of the REGPOT-2008-1 topic "to reinforce [the beneficiary] S&T potential, to support and mobilise their human and material resources (...) and to improve their responses to socio-economic needs of the country", through the following measures:
- upgrading the research equipments necessary for the development of the research activities in the sea science field, as Genetics, Otoliths, Environment studies, Aquaculture, and Bio-logging
- recruitments of researchers in order to enhance the local qualified research capacity and reinforce the human research forces in sea sciences
- improving of the S&T experience and knowledge of the local researchers through short term trainings held by EU and ICPC partner institutions covering the main Sea science disciplines related to the Reunion Island research activities.

1.2 Development of strategic partnerships and communication with EU and in ICPC Sea Science institutions

The objectives "to develop strategic partnerships with well established research entities", and "to facilitate communication between research entities having similar scientific interests", were supposed to be undertaken through different actions on an international level:
- Co-organisation of a large audience conference
- Organisation of seminars and thematic workshops
- Several short-term trainings and scientific exchanges with experts from EU and ICPC countries.
These measures strongly tend to reinforce the relations between the Reunion Island researchers and other well established European institutions and enhance the European position in the West Indian Ocean.

1.3 Information and Dissemination activities

Concerning the objective "to disseminate scientific information as well as the results of research", RUN Sea Science committed itself to undertake several dissemination initiatives. Scientific visibility and excellence of the IRD and his partners were expected during the organisation of a major international scientific meeting (WIOMSA 2009) in Reunion Island in order to present the research results and the technologic applications in Sea sciences of the Reunion Island.
The dissemination activity should have been complemented by other initiatives mainly directed towards the general public: website, leaflet, regional newspapers articles, and a 13 min documentary. The dissemination of the results by publications in scientific papers should also participate to enhance the visibility of the project.

Project Results:
2.1 Upgrading scientific equipment - WP2
The objective of this work package was to upgrade the scientific equipment in order to improve Sea Science S&T infrastructure of the IRD and the scientific teams in Reunion Island.
The main tasks of the WP2 have been carried out as follows:
- quotation for each piece of equipment by the partners from month 1 to month 3,
- search for additional funding (135 000 Euros raised among the partners),
- orders made by the project manager in month 5,
- monitoring of imports and deliveries by the project manager mainly from month 8 to month 10,
- installation of the equipment in the laboratories by the partners and collection of the documents proving the installation by the project manager from month 7.

Below is a table counting all material bought with the EU funding, followed by the material description per scientific themes:

Themes Fields Equipements Costs (€) Total Cost per field
Biodiversity and Ecologie Genetics - Captair XL392 2C +Filtre GF4/F 5249 69854
- Plan de travail N°1-SD39 347
- Kit De Sécurité C02 Liquide 1875
- Etuve 108L 220°C UFB500 1504
- Micro centrifugeuse 6X1.5/2ML ou 16X0.2ML 176
- Centrifugeuse SIGMA 2-16KC 4376
- Rotor Libre Micro titrage 1049
- Combine Nofrost 2 Circuits 365 L 1045
- DDP - Acheminement 1946
- Centrifugeuse 5804R 5123
- Rotor adapted for microplates pour Centrifugeuse 1231
- Thermosoudeur plaque 96 1712
- Thermocycleur Gradient PCR 4320
- Cuve électrophorese horizontale réfrigérée 786
- UV Imaging system 6867
- Drying stove 770
- Dry deep freeze 6979
- Acheminement + Transport VWR 3385
Otoliths - Digital camera Sony mounted on a stereo-microscop 2210
- Visilog 5.1© software 3675
- Microwaves apparatus Microscope Axioscope A1 6020
- Precision balance 4673
- Laveur ultrason + panier grillage 774
- Polisseuse à vit variable 3762
Environmental studies Monitoring - Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler 19907 77742
- Miniature Light-Intensity Data Logger 3320
- Sonde multiparamètres 3459
- Batteries LITHIUM pour Sondes CO2 1327
Aquaculture and animal behaviour researches Aquaculture - Appareil photo Nikon D90 2353 77060
- Balance PIONEER PA2102C 2100g / 0,01g 1140
- CAREs 11625
- CARES 5000
- Nourrisseurs automatiques RENA LG100 753
Bio-logging - Listening station VR3 with Underwater Modem 9718
- Listening station VR2W 8700
- Modem Receiver 6035
- Listening station VR4-global irridium 10726
- Tags turtle tracking 14289
- Tags GLS bird tracking 6721
Total 224 655 €

- Biodiversity and Ecology (Genetics):
The goal was to identify the genetic structure of reef associated species, including populations of exploited species, as well as certain emblematic species in order to assess 1) regional patterns of marine biodiversity and genetic differentiation, 2) the connectivity of populations of some selected species. The equipments were essentially purchased for the set-up of a basic genetic laboratory equipped for high-throughput DNA extraction and amplification and bar-coding, and for banking of tissue and DNA collections. The equipment bought stays as written down in the Annex 1 of the Grant Agreement except for the "impact mill" which was replaced by the "air laminar flow hood".

- Biodiversity and Ecology (Otoliths):
For the part on otoliths studies, the equipment was purchased as foreseen except for the binocular magnifying glasses (binocular microscope) which have not been bought because IRD's partner, ARDA, committed to providing this equipment to IRD. Therefore, we bought an otolith polishing machine instead. This material allows the realisation of a regular, fine and precise sandpapering of otoliths that is essential for fish age and growth determination without bias. In addition, its use generates a significant gain of time during the treatment of high numbers of otoliths.
Determining fish life history using otolithometry is essential for stocks conservation and fisheries management.

- Aquaculture and animal behaviour researches (Aquaculture):
The goal was to reconcile the objectives of conservation, and development of coral ecosystems in Reunion Island. The equipment purchased was essential for the capture, the identification and the observation of post larvae fishes in order to characterise their recruitment and also to study the potential economic valorisation of new species in aquaculture.

Setting up of CARE equipment for the PCC programme

Most of the material concerned was bought as foreseen. Aquarium tanks and the material attached to it have not been bought because cooperation has been settled in between IRD, ARDA and another SME "Hémisphère Sud" to undertake aquaculture activities.

- Aquaculture and animal behaviour researches (bio-logging):
The telemetry method (acoustic tagging) allowed IRD and its partners to gather information (sometimes in real time) on the behaviour of animals (turtles, fishes or sea birds) in their natural environment. In this way, telemetry has added an innovative character in behavioural ecology studies in Reunion Island. Different technologies have been developed. The one that we acquired enables scientist to track animals in the whole bio-geographic area of the species. This method uses independent GLS and tags related to a satellite. These tags are lost in the sea.
The information collected coupled with the environmental data available has enabled scientists to be able to better understand:
- the migration routes used by these animals, their breeding or feeding behaviours,
- the exchange between populations and the biodiversity index.
- the impact of fisheries on these monitored species.

- Environment Monitoring:
The goal was to establish a monitoring station of ocean acidification in Reunion Island, and to undertake experiments to evaluate some of its biological and ecological effects on coral reefs.
The equipment purchased in this area has been slightly modified:
- because of a lack of funding, IRD could not purchase the salinometer as expected.
- the composition of the carbon dioxide system in any seawater sample is specified completely once one knows the salinity and temperature, together with two other concentration-related parameters chosen from: DIC (dissolved inorganic carbon), AT (total alkalinity), pH and p(CO2). At this time, only pH and p(CO2) can be used for continuous measurement allowing relatively straightforward monitoring over time. This allowed us therefore, to better characterize the chemistry of CO2 in the field observations that are undertaken.
-Instead of buying three PCO2 sensors, it has been decided to purchase 1 PCO2 sensor added with 2 pH probes. One SAMI2-pH probe is intended to be deployed in oceanic waters, outside of the reef, to monitor the composition of the carbon dioxide system over time, assuming that total alkalinity remains nearly constant, 1 SAMI-CO2 probe and the SAMI2-pH probe fitted with the salinity sensor are intended to be deployed on the reef flat.

Monitoring station: PCO2 sensors and SAMI2-pH probe assay.

2.2 Recruitment of Researchers - WP3

The main objective of this work package was the recruitment of local researchers in order to improve S&T research capacity of the IRD in collaboration with its partners in Reunion Island in the Sea Science field.

The tasks of the WP3 have been carried out successfully as follow:

- Genetics:
One of the researchers in Genetics, Delphine Muths, hired by the IRD for 17 months, started her work contract in month 3. D. Muths has a PhD in Marine Population Biology and Evolution. This contract aims to benefit from the knowledge of a person experienced in population genetics and to reinforce and develop the capacities of the Reunion. Her research is permitting a better understanding of the genetic structure of emblematic species such as the marine turtles, the genetic structure of resources exploited by fisheries, and the connectivity between populations of fishes from various Marine Protected Areas. At the end of her contract D Muths continued her research work in Reunion Island in the frame of others contracts.
On the 1st of July 2010 (month 19), Baptiste Faure the second researcher in genetics took up his post as a RUN Sea Science IRD Postgraduate Researcher at the Ecomar laboratory. He has a PhD in population biology and ecology. He worked under the supervision of Henrich Bruggemann (director of the Ecomar laboratory at the University of La Réunion) His research was based on a bar-coding of marine biodiversity in the South West of the Indian Ocean. His contract ended on the 30th of September 2011 (month 33). The genetic researcher was originally supposed to be hired for 17 months. However in order to hire such a high profile, IRD decided to shorten the contract so that It could raise the salary without exceeding the initial budget allot to this task.
- Aquaculture:
The engineer in Aquaculture, Sophie Vermond, started her work contract in month 3. Her work is directed in cooperation by IRD together with Arda, and managed by IRD. This research permitted a better understanding of the Conservation of biodiversity via Aquaculture and the PCC (Post-larval Capture and Culture). At the intersection of fishing and aquaculture, PCC aims: (1) to improve knowledge of larval fish flux and quantify it, the larval phase being essential for the maintenance of biodiversity; (2) to develop sustainable economic activities, since post-larvae can be reared as ornamentals or food-fish, and/or for restocking a depleted coral reef ecosystem.

Preparation of identification book: Pterois miles three stages of its development

In order to complete this study IRD and Arda worked together, in collaboration with private companies Hémisphère Sud (Reunion) and Ecocean (France).
Sophie Vermond ended her contract prematurely in month 12 for personal reasons; her replacement Adeline Collet joined the RUN Sea Science project in month 25. She carried out the work of Sophie Vermond and joined, at the end of her contract (month 32), a EU funded project on the same thematic.
The preliminary results obtained by Vermond et al. (2009) and Collet et al. (2011) were linked with the work that has been lead by the post-doc researcher in Otolithometry Criquet et al (2011).

- Otolithometry:
The researcher in Otolithometry, Géraldine Criquet, started her work contract in month 10. Her work was led by IRD, in coordination with the National Marine Reserve of Reunion. Her research theme was studying life traits of fishes associated with coral reefs in the South Western Indian Ocean through the analysis of their otoliths. An otolith is a limestone piece (mm) that can be found in bony fish's head. The observation of this piece through a microscope allows scientists to analyse previous fish growth and environment associated (fish black box). G. Criquet's contract lasted 19 months. The contract was extended until mars 2011 (3 months added). The scientist left her work for a 3 month maternity leave, and IRD decided to extend the contract of the time on leave.

- Environment Monitoring:
The researcher in environment, Emmanuel Cordier, PhD in physical oceanography and sedimentology, started his work contract in month 4. IRD delegated the direction of this work to the University of Reunion and ARVAM in order to increase cooperation of IRD with local actors. His researches are providing a better understanding of the physical processes and mass water circulation in the fringing reef of Reunion Island thanks to physical measurements and data analysis. The researcher had valorised the data previously collected and developed tools analysis suitable for insular tropical coral ecosystems. The numerical modelling of the circulation in the fringing coral reef of Reunion Island was also one of the focuses of his job, for the monitoring and the better understanding of the coral reef ecosystem dynamic. To this end, cooperation with the School of Earth and Environment from the University of Western Australia, in Perth, has been undertaken (see short term training WP5).

Manuela Capello, a scientist specialised in data base integration and spatial analyses, joined the RUN Sea Science team on month 21. M. Capello has a PhD in Theory and Numerical Simulations of the Condensed Matter. She worked under the supervision of Marc Soria, IRD researcher. M. Capello conducted her research within RUN Sea Science until month 34. Her studies enabled scientists to learn more about the migration routes used by certain types of fishes, their breeding or feeding behaviours and to measure exchanges between populations and the biodiversity index.
In parallel her research allowed to build a solid database to monitor changes according to current climate change or the impact of fisheries on the species she focused on. As B.Faure the contract of M. Capello was also shorten in order to rise up the salary. At the end of her contract with RUN Sea Science M. Capello continued her work with the IRD on another European Union project.

Publications related to this work package

Regarding the publishing of the scientist's researches; results obtained by the seventh scientists are not all yet available for publication. Below the publications available today published and in preparation. More publications will come in the following months.

- Genetics:
- Bradman, H.M. Muths, D., Bourjea, J., Grewe, P.M. & Appleton, B., submit. Characterisation of 18 polymorphic microsatellite loci in the broadbill swordfish, Xiphias gladius. Molecular Ecology Ressources.
- Muths, D. & Bourjea, J., 2009. Using genetic approach to estimate reef fish connectivity in the South-West Indian Ocean and help in the design of Marine Protected Areas network. Oral in 6th WIOMSA symposium, Saint-Denis, august 2009.
- Muths, D. & Bourjea, J., 2009. Connectivité des Aires Marines Protégées du Sud-Ouest de l'Océan Indien: Étude de génétique des populations de poissons récifaux afin d'élaborer des aides à l'organisation du réseau des Aires Marines Protégées. Oral presentation, AMP of the SOOI meeting, L'Hermitage, june 2009.
- H. Magalon, B. Faure, L. Bigot, J.H. Bruggemann. Connectivity of the coral Pocillopora meandrina in the Eparses and Reunion islands. 7th scientific symposium of the Western Indian océan Marine Science Association (WIOMSA). Mombasa, Kenya. Octobre 2011, Oral presentation.
- B. Faure. Phylogéographie des gastéropodes marins des estrans rocheux à la Réunion : exemple de la famille des Neritida. Séminaire écologie des ecosystems. Saint Denis de la Réunion, France. Septembre 2011 oral presentation.
- B.Postaire J.H. Bruggemann, B. Faure. Phylogéographie des gastéropodes marins
- des estrans rocheux à la Réunion : exemple de la famille des Neritidae. Le Petit Pois Déridé, annual meeting. Toulouse, France. Aout 2011 Poster.
- B. Faure Ecologie descriptive et génétique évolutive en milieu marin. Séminar BioEcoTrop. Réunion Island, France. Oral presentation.

- Conservation of biodiversity:
- G. Criquet, L. Vigliola, P. Chabanet. Spatial variation in otolith chemistry of Epinephelus merra in Baa Atoll, Maldives. Atoll Research Bulletin (in press)
- G. Criquet, P. Chabanet. Growth of Epinephelus merra from Maldives (in prep.)
- G. Criquet, P. Chabanet. Growth of Epinephelus merra from Western Indian Ocean (in prep.)
- G. Criquet, P. Chabanet. Length-weight relationships of fishes from Indian Ocean (in prep.)

- Environment Monitoring:
- E. Cordier, P. Cuet Swell impact on reef sedimentary processes: a case study of the La Réunion fringing reef 2011 Sedimentology
- P.Cuet C.Pierre E.Cordier M.J. Atkinson Water velocity dependence of phosphate uptake on a coral dominated fringing reef lat, La Réunion Island, Indian Ocean. Springer-Verlag 2011
- Cuet P., M. J. Atkinson, J. Blanchot, B. E. Casareto, E. Cordier, J. Falter, P. Frouin, H. Fujimura, C. Pierret, Y. Susuki, C. Tourrand (2011) CNP budgets of a coral-dominated fringing reef at La Réunion, France: coupling of oceanic phosphate and groundwater nitrate, Coral Reefs, DOI 10.1007/s00338-011-0744-4

- M. Capello, M. Soria, P. Cotel, L. Dagorn, J-L. Deneubourg Quantifying the interplay between environmental and social effects on aggregated-fish dynamics. PLOS ONE (in press).
- M. Capello, M. Soria, G. Potin, P. Fréon and L. Dagorn Spatial and temporal patterns from the behavior of small pelagic fish in a network of FADs. (in preparation).
- M. Capello, M. Soria, G. Potin, and L. Dagorn. New insights on the behaviour of different fish species around FADs from the fine-scale temporal analysis of acoustic telemetry data. (in preparation).

2.3. Organisation of workshops and conferences - WP4

The main objective of this work package was to enhance the participation and the organisation of conferences that aimed to improve the knowledge transfer at regional, national and international level.

Most of the actions foreseen in the DOW were completed during the project and one more action was added to the task 4.2 and another one to the task 4.3. Only the presentation of the results of research activities realised in the outermost regions in the marine environmental toxicology field (task 4.3) during the seminar ARE Toxicology in Tunisia could not be completed because the seminar was cancelled by organisers.

Below is a table showing the accomplishment of this work package followed by the a more detailed description of each event.

Name Location Title Main actions financed by RUN Sea Science
Task 4.1: Organisation and participation to the 5th WIOMSA Conference
WIOMSA Congress Reunion Island "The Millennium Challenge:
How Marine Science and Management Meet Development Goals". 40 Scientists from ICPC countries were invited
Task 4.2: Organisation of thematic conferences and seminars
Seminar on Aquaculture Reunion Island Post-larval Capture and Culture (PCC) technology Marine hatchery management A French expert gave talks to scientists from Reunion, ICPC and European countries who were participating to the seminar
RUN SEA SCIENCE closing seminar Reunion Island "Challenges for marine sciences in a changing ocean:
How can research and development fit societal expectations in the Southwest Indian Ocean?" Five European experts from Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and Portugal were invited to give talks.
Task 4.3: Participation to international conferences
Science summer school workshop Reunion Island Science summer school workshop on oceanography and scientific cooperation RUN SEA SCIENCE financed a part of the organisation of the school in association with the University of La Réunion. RUN SEA SCIENCE also financed the coming of an expert from Rhodes University (South Africa)
25th International Ornithological Congress Campos do Jordao, Brazil symposium "Free-ranging cats and birds : problems and solutions" An ECOMAR young scientist presented his work to the international scientific community.

- WIOMSA congress:
From the 24 to the 29 August 2009 has been lead in St Denis, Reunion, the 6th international scientific symposium WIOMSA. This is the largest congress on marine sciences ever organised in Reunion Island and WIOMSA is the most important scientific association in SWIO for Marine Science.
The organisation of such a huge event has been lead, from month 1 to month 9 of the project, in collaboration with WIOMSA NGO, the University of Reunion, Ifremer, the IRD and the RUN Sea Science project.
During this WIOMSA symposium, which took place for the first time in Reunion, more than 40 scientific sessions have been presented at the University campus. The themes were climate change effects on marine ecosystems, sustainable management of artisanal and industrial fisheries, conservation of marine biodiversity, struggle against coastal population poverty ...
WIOMSA symposiums take place every two years in one of the western Indian Ocean country. They usually welcome 300 to 450 delegates from WIOMSA member countries and other regions of the world (Europe, Australia, United States, India ...). The previous congress took place in Durban, South Africa. In 2009, in Reunion, 470 persons attended this congress originating from Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Madagascar, Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion but also from France, Great Britain, Portugal, Australia, United States, India etc...
The theme of this 2009 congress was: "The Millennium Challenge: How Marine Sciences and Management Can Achieve Sustainable Management of Marine Resources and Develop Human Communities."
The RUN Sea Science project covered the travel and mission expenses for 40 people. The project funded five key note speakers and 35 young researchers from Comoros, Mauritius, Madagascar, Kenya, South Africa and Mozambique. Those young researchers have been chosen by the WIOMSA scientific committee for the excellence of the work they planned to present during the symposium.
The WIOMSA congress permitted to reinforce and create numerous partnerships between Reunion researchers and their pair in the South Western Indian Ocean.

- Aquaculture Seminar:
- Following on to this, a smaller-scale seminar has been organised from the 31st of August to the 4th of September 2009, by IRD in collaboration with ARDA, on the theme of aquaculture. An innovative aquaculture method has been presented in a very practical manner: the Post Larval Capture and Culture.
The main idea is that most reef fish have a complex life cycle with a larval stage in a pelagic environment (dispersion phase), after which the larvae return to the coral reef to continue their development as juveniles and adults adapted to the reef environment (benthic phase). Taking as a starting-point the fact that the mortality rate of post-larvae is higher than 90% when they move from the open ocean to the reef environment, a small portion of post-larvae are captured by light traps before they are settled on to the reef without disturbing fish populations or habitat.
The organisation of this seminar took place from month 6 to month 9 of the project. Only 17 persons attended this week, due to limited number of places available on the boat used for the field trip. The seminar welcomed IRD's researchers and several of its partners from Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius.

- 25th International Ornithological Congress:
From the 19th to the 29th of August 2010, David Ringler, young researcher in ornithology, presented his work in Brasil to 25th the IOC (International Ornithology Congress) in the framework of the symposium "Free-ranging cats and birds : problems and solutions". His presentation was entitled ""Predation and long term impact of feral cats on seabirds in the tropical western Indian Ocean". This symposium was an excellent opportunity for an exchange with world-recognized experts in biology conservation and allowed to new partnerships within this field.
- Science summer school, workshop:
In collaboration with the University of La Réunion, RUN Sea Science financed a part of the organisation costs of the event. RUN Sea Science also participated to the budget by financing the coming of an expert from Rhodes University (South Africa) who gave two talks during the event:
-Phytoplankton and primary production in the Mozambique Channel -Energy transfer and trophic webs: An isotope approach

- RUN Sea Science Closing Seminar:
As RUN Sea Science was ending in December 2011, and in addition to provide the final report during the last advisory board, the steering comity took advantage of the dynamic insufflated by the RUN Sea Science to look forward and to help structuring the research in marine science in Reunion Island that should be conducted in the future Marine Pole. To help them in this approach, the RUN Sea Science Committee decided to organize a prospective scientific seminar around 5 European experts, who were invited to give their view and to share their experience in 5 up-to-date themes in the field of marine science. The seminar entitled "Challenges for marine science in a changing. ocean: How can research and development fit societal expectations in the South West Indian Ocean?"
The first day was dedicated to local scientists who have benefited from RUN Sea Science supports, to present their results. The second day was dedicated to the 5 European experts:
- Continuous plankton recorder
Pr. Philip REID, Marine Institute and Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science, University of Plymouth. United Kingdom.
- Biogeochemistry
Dr. Tatiana ILYINA, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany.
- Marine protected areas
Dr. Angel PEREZ RUZAFA, Department of Ecology and Hydrology, University of Murcia, Spain.
- Pollution
Dr. Krishna DAS, University of Liege, Laboratory of Oceanology, MARE Research Center, Belgium.
- Biotechnology
Pr. Rui REIS, 3B´s Research Group, University of Minho, Portugal.

They exposed an updated vision of their experience and what are the key questions to tackle in the marine science field.

Publications related to this work package

- Bigot L., Bourmaud A-F., Chabanet P, Durville P., Gravier-Bonnet N., Mulochau T. & O. Beauvoir, 2009. Can coral reef communities be used as indicators or proxies to assess ecological vulnerability of WIO small islands? The case of Glorieuses Island (Mozambic Channel, Indian Ocean). 6th Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association Conference, Reunion (communication).
- Bigot L., Tessier E., Cauvin B., Cadet C., Chabanet P., 2009. Changes in benthic communities between 1998 and 2008 and their impact on fish assemblages at St-Gilles / La Saline coral reef marine reserve (Reunion Island; Southwest Indian Ocean). 6th Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association Conference, Reunion (communication).
- Bristol N, Dagorn L., Bach P., Robinson J., Deneubourg J.L. Moreno G., Di Natale A., Tserpes G., Travassos P., Dufossé L., Taquet M., Robin J.J. Bruna Valettini, Afonso P., Koutsikopoulos C., 2009. MADE: Preliminary information on a new EC project to propose measures to mitigate adverse impacts of open ocean fisheries targeting large pelagic fish. 6th WIOMSA Scientific Symposium, 24-29 August 2009, St Denis, La Reunion (poster).
- Chabanet P., Ardouin N., Barroil P., Gallois F. & Ponton D., 2009. A moored video system to analyze the temporal variability of fish populations on coral reefs. 6th Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association Conference, Reunion (communication).
- Cordier E. , Troadec R. , Sinane K., Stoia M., Pennober G. and David G. Prospect of a coral beach monitoring network in the Western Indian Ocean from the example of the coral beach profile survey at La Reunion. 6th. WIOMSA Scientific Symposium. Saint Denis La Réunion, 24-29 August 2009.
- Frouin P. , Bigot L. , Bourmaud C. , Chabanet P., De la Torre Castro M., Gravier-Bonnet N. , Hily C., Pothin K., Wickel J., Andrefouet S., Blanchot J., Bourjea J., Ciccione S., Comeno R., Eriksson H., Mahafina D., Rabenevanana M., Ramahatratra F. & Rasoamanendrika F. HILOI, a research program on seagrass ecosystems in islands from the Western Indian Ocean, 2009. 6th Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association Conference, Reunion (poster).
- Jean C., Ciccione S. Bourjea J. Pennober G. Conruyt N.(2009) TORSOOI project : A regional database and GIS project started in Réunion on the conservation of sea turtles and their habitats in the South West Indian Ocean. 6th. WIOMSA Scientific Symposium. Saint Denis La Réunion, 24-29 August 2009.
- Mahafina J., Lecaillon G., Chabanet P., Ralijaona C., Ranaivomanana L., Bosc P. & Ferraris J., 2009. Capture & Culture of Post-larval fish: A possible alternative to reef fishing in Toliara (Madagascar)? 6th Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association Conference, Reunion (poster).
- Scopélitis J., Andréfouët S., Phinn S., Ward D. & Chabanet P., 2009. Coral reefs communities' spatial and temporal response to disturbance: mapping and modelling with remote sensing and cellular automata. 6th Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association Conference, Reunion (communication).
- Vermond S., Fabre J-N., Lecaillon G., Bosc P. & Chabanet P., 2009. Post-larval Capture and Culture (PCC) technology: a sustainable alternative for the marine aquarium trade and the conservation of biodiversity at reunion island (SW Indian Ocean). 6th Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association Conference, Reunion (poster).
- Kaelher S., Phytoplankton and primary production in the Mozambique Channel" Oral presentation, Science summer school, University of La Réunion, 2010
- Kaelher S., Energy transfer and trophic webs: An isotope approach, Oral presentation, Science summer school, University of La Réunion, 2010
- REID P., The oceans and climate change: feedbacks to and from ecosystems, RUN Sea Science Closing Seminar, November 2011
- ILYINA T., Marine ecosystems and perturbations in biogeochemical cycles, RUN Sea Science Closing Seminar, November 2011
- PEREZ RUZAFA A., Are Marine protected areas an adequate tool for fisheries management and conservation?, RUN Sea Science Closing Seminar, November 2011
- DAS k., Marine predators as sentinels for our oceans and human health RUN Sea Science Closing Seminar, November 2011
- REIS R., New Materials from marine origin for an all range of biomedical applications, RUN Sea Science Closing Seminar, November 2011

2.4 Exchange of experience - WP5

This Work package aimed to improve the S&T experience and know-how of IRD researchers and its partners from the Reunion Island through the following measures:
- Exchange of know-how and experience through collaborations and visits of Sea Science specialists,
- Short term trainings for local researchers abroad.

Due to the researchers' busy schedules in 2009 and 2010, the planning of the exchanges could not be followed as foreseen. Therefore, some scientific exchanges of know-how and short term trainings had to be rescheduled or and modified. All in all, the 18 exchanges and short term trainings foreseen were completed and even more. Indeed, the exchanges foreseen in the Document of Work were cheaper than expected therefore the budget for this WP allowed us to complete six more exchanges.

The exchanges and short-term training were completed in the frame of the following fields:
- Marine Biodiversity
- Animal Behaviour
- Marine Biology
- Aquaculture
- Genetics

This work package enabled us in total:
- to send abroad 12 scientists from Reunion Island
- to invite 12 experts from 8 European countries and ICPC countries
- to create new partnerships and collaboration with 19 laboratories and institutes in 12 different countries from Europe and ICPC countries.
This represents more than 410 days of scientific exchanges and short them trainings.

Thanks to these successful actions the research capacity of the IRD increased considerably. It reinforced the partnership already in place in Reunion Island and allowed a much broader net of partnerships in the Indian Ocean zone and in Europe. The scientists who benefited from this work package were able to participate and launch new programmes, they were able to achieve more and deeper results with their ongoing researches thanks to the knowledge they acquired from the fellow scientist they exchanged with and the short term trainings they attended to.

Below is a table listing all the exchanges that has been financed by the RUN Sea Science.

Below is a table listing all the short-term trainings that has been financed by the RUN Sea Science.

2.5 Dissemination and promotional activities - WP6

The objective of this Work package was to inform the general public and the scientific and technological specialists from EU and ICPC countries about the sea science activities in the Reunion Island, through different communication instruments.

A leaflet presenting the activities of the RUN Sea Science project as well as the themes of research supported by the project and collaborative activities has been edited in month 3. We decided to create this leaflet previous the creation of the web site as it seemed more efficient to take the kick off meeting (month 3) as an opportunity to distribute this document for the first time to main actors and managers of sea sciences in Reunion. During this meeting it has clearly been stated that a public web site will soon be available (month 7).

We decided to appoint a local subcontractor to design and print this leaflet instead of using the IRD publication service for three reasons. The first one is that we wanted this document to highlight the local collaborative side of this project. This would not have been possible using the IRD internal services. The second reason is the deadline, we wanted to distribute those documents during the Kick Off meeting on March 2009, and the time delay would have been much more important if using the IRD publication services (based in Marseille).

A web site presenting the RUN Sea Science project and the activities of the Reunion Island in the sea sciences field has been created. A subcontractor has been selected in month 2. From month 3 to month 7, the content has been decided after negotiations with the partners of the project and the design of the web site has been monitored. In month 7 the public version of the web site has been released, one month before the WIOMSA congress starts.

Moreover, the RUN Sea Science project has been presented in local newspapers, mainly during the kick off meeting and in the occasion of the WIOMSA congress venue. A partnership has also been created with the Reunion Business and Science Park that is regularly publishing the advancement of our project. Those documents are distributed to all companies and science institutes in Reunion Island.

The production of the documentary was completed in month 23 as foreseen. The production of the documentary was undertaken by the IRD and the Multi media center of the University of La Reunion (CMM).
The documentary was 16 minutes long, 3 minutes were added for free by the CMM in order to use a maximum of the very interesting footage that has been made the past 3 years. The documentary was ended in month 35 and was shown at the closing seminar and several other occasions. 500 copies of the documentary were produced and will be distributed broadly in 2012.

Potential Impact:
Thanks to the advocacy action of RUN Sea Science in Réunion, another RegPot project entitled "RUN Emerge" has been submitted by an IRD scientific partner and accepted by the Commission in 2010.The action of the regpot capacity funding will then continue in Réunion with this project until 2013.

The Run Sea Science project has several durable consequences in the scientific landscape of the Reunion Island, the WIO and the European Union:

RUN Sea Science actions are part of the "Blue Book: National Strategy for the Sea and Oceans" initiated by the Prime Minister of the French government. The Blue Book is a governance tool run by high French authorities. One of the Blue Book major objectives is to establish the French marine politics in the South of the Indian Ocean via the publication of the "South Indian Ocean Blue Book". This latter published in 2011 unequivocally points out RUN Sea Science as the first step toward the creation of the Regional Marine Pole in Réunion Island.

Thanks to the European Union funding, RUN Sea Science enabled the recruitment of qualified scientists (WP3) and reinforced the use of high technologies (WP2) in the Reunionese research. These actions enhance and improve the Reunionese competences to gather new datas in a more efficient way, allowing thus the publications of numerous scientific works. This helps scientists to respond to real local scientific and human issues.

The RSS dissemination actions coupled with the supports given to projects which bring together SMEs and local institutions have for main impact the development of better interactions between the scientific research world and the civil society.
For example, the RSS support addressed to the POLARUN project clearly shows the RSS involvement for a better sustainable management of marine areas and fishery in Reunion Island. Indeed, the POLARUN project (2011-2013) is run by the ARDA (SME) in association with the IRD, the Ifremer and by the National Marine Park of Reunion Island. It has for main objective to identify new opportunities for the Reunionese fishery by developing new tools for a better local development (fish keeping industry, aquaculture)

RUN Sea Science is also facilitating the installation of strategic partnerships with several universities and laboratories from Europe and ICPC countries. Through these actions and the improvement of the scientific capacities, the project anchors the Reunionese research in a wider and long lasting scientific network. The Reunionese research represents now a key platform for any scientific and technological interactions between European and ICP countries in the WIO.

- New partnering established thanks to the scientific exchanges during the project so far:
- Earth Science Museum, Moscow State University, Russia
- The Stable Light Isotope Laboratory, at Cape Town University, South Africa
- The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
- Laboratory / Institution - IMAR/DOP, University of the Azores, Portugal
- The South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), Grahamstown, South Africa
- The Rodhes University, botany department, Grahamstown, South Africa
- South African Marine Coastal Management, South Africa
- The Bruxelle University, Unit of social ecology, Belgium
- University of Tuléar halieutic institute of marine sciences, Madagascar
- Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany
- Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Germany
- Zoological Society of London, UK
- Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart, (Germany)
- Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, (Germany)
- LOCEAN / MNHN laboratories from the University of Paris IV (France)
- Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium)
- University of Birmingham (United-Kingdom)
- University of Coimbra (Portugal)
- University of Azores (Portugal)
- Fisheries Department (Tahiti)
- Rennes University (France)
- University Las Palmas Gran Canarias (Spain)
- Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (Greece)
- University of Exeter (United Kingdom)
- National Museum of Natural History (France)
- Alliance for coastal technologies (Italy)

Hence, it is not only the visibility of the scientific Reunion Island Research in the Indian Ocean which is increased but it is also the influence of Europe which is consolidated in this zone of the world.

List of Websites:
Alain Borgel cordinator: