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Main Uses of the Grey mullet as Indicator of Littoral environmental changes

Objective

The particular status of estuaries, deltas and lagoons in coastal areas, located at the interface between sea and river influences, results in highly variable environmental and ecological conditions that shift over space and time. The combined effects of climatic changes and human activities have tremendous consequences on these ecosystems.

The conservation of these environments is one of the biggest challenges for humanity. In order to achieve an integrated management, researchers, ecologists and managers try to select relevant indicators, which could be used as tracers of the state of estuarine areas. These indicators are generally chosen among living species or physicochemical parameters or a combination of both. Among the fish species living in estuarine ecosystems, very few are able to live in a wide diversity of habitats. It is yet the case of one peculiar species, Mugil cephalus (Mugilidae), which is found worldwide and is cosmopolitan in almost all tropical coastal estuarine zones, but also in temperate ones. This species is able to live and reproduce in widely different habitats.

The mechanisms, which are involved in this process, are poorly known or are studied separately in each area. Moreover this species and related ones support important fisheries, especially in developing countries. The aim of the MUGIL project is to build an observation network and to coordinate across the world the action of using this species as an indicator of the state of estuarine areas by observing the population genetics, the life history trait variations and the physiological responses to salinity or pollution.

The project covers four world areas (Europe, Africa, Asia, America) and involves collaborators from southern Europe (France, Spain, Greece) and tropical countries (Mexico, Senegal, Benin, South Africa, Taiwan). Finally, it aims at proposing this species as a tool to follow littoral environmental changes through a new STREP proposal within the 7th Framework Programme.

Call for proposal

FP6-2002-INCO-DEV/SSA-1
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Funding Scheme

SSA - Specific Support Action

Coordinator

INSTITUT DE RECHERCHE POUR LE DÉVELOPPEMENT
Address
213 Rue La Fayette
Paris
France

Participants (9)

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
France
Address
1919 Route De Mende
Montpellier
CENTRO DE INVESTIGACIONES BIOLÓGICAS DEL NOROESTE, S.C.
Mexico
Address
Mar Bermejo No. 195, Col. Playa Palo De Santa Rita
La Paz, B.c.s.
HELLENIC CENTRE FOR MARINE RESEARCH
Greece
Address
46,7Km Athens Sounion Bd
Mavro Lithari, Anavyssos
INSTITUTE OF FISHERIES SCIENCE, NATIONAL TAIWAN UNIVERSITY
Taiwan
Address
No.1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road
Taipei
SOUTH AFRICAN INSTITUTE FOR AQUATIC BIODIVERSITY
South Africa
Address
Somerset Street
Grahamstown
UNIVERSIDAD AUTÓNOMA DE CAMPECHE - CENTRO EPOMEX
Mexico
Address
Av. Agustín Melgar Entre Juan De La Barrera Y Calle 20 - Col Buenavista
Campeche
UNIVERSIDAD ISLAS BALEARES
Spain
Address
Carretera Valldemossa Km.7,5
Palma De Mallorca
UNIVERSITÉ D'ABOMEY CALAVI'
Benin
Address
01 B.p. 526
Cotonou
WORLD WIDE FUND FOR NATURE - WESTERN AFRICAN MARINE ECOREGION
Senegal
Address
9639 Sacré Coeur Iii
Dakar