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Media Invite: Multi-national cruise to explore the Mediterranean Sea

25.11.2005


Media is invited to a press concerence on board on December 6, 2005.



This second multi-disciplinary research cruise (CIESM SUB-2) will be launched from Messina, Italy on December 6th with scientists from 14 marine Institutes and five different countries (France, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Italy) onboard. They will embark on the Italian R/V Urania to monitor changes taking place in the Tyrrhenian Sea through December 22nd. The SUB-2 cruise will also include an area of the Sicily Channel, which has scarcely been investigated until now.

The main objectives are to map the seafloor in high resolution, to measure the processes in the water column and its properties: to assess biodiversity and the functioning of marine ecosystems. Seamounts, which are hotspots of diversity in the deep sea, will receive special attention, with an emphasis on finding new microbes. Scientists will also look for shifts and changes in the food webs which may affect fisheries.


A marked increase in deepwater temperature and salinity was detected during the first campaign (CIESM SUB-1). Further evidence for a “subtropicalization” of the area was provided by changes observed in the structure and dynamics of the microorganisms, in particular a decrease in the average size of plankton. These results, compared to those that will be collected during the SUB-2 cruise, will be used to analyze seasonal patterns in the physical variables and biological components of the sea.

CIESM is proud that Italy – one of its 23 Member States - has sponsored these first two cruises. This was made possible with the support of the Italian Environment Ministry, the Consorzio Interuniversitario per le Scienze del Mare (CoNISMa), and the National Research Council (CNR). In addition the Bonino-Pulejo Foundation, a non-profit organization in Sicily, made a special contribution to the cruise.

YOU ARE INVITED TO A PRESS CONFERENCE ON BOARD
Date: December 6, 2005
Place: R/V Urania, Quay Colapesce, Messina Harbor
Time: 11:00-12:00
R.S.V.P. +39 090 69 24 69 or 090 22 62 94
Information in Italian: lgiuliano.ciesm.org, linomorgante@virgilio.it, p.orteca@fbpme.org
Information in English: siri@ciesm.org

From 6 to 12 December, news from the cruise will be fed daily on our website (www.ciesm.org) by CIESM Press Officer Siri Campbell and by CIESM Program Officer Carolyn Scheurle who will be both on board.

Siri Campbell | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ciesm.org

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