Transforming research into wealth.
Special research programs focus on a number of individual species: the common sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus), the European lobster (Homarus gammarus), the European flat oyster (Ostrea edulis), the snapper fish – denti (Dentex dentex) or the huge limpet – an aquatic snail (Patella ferruginea). For each of these species, investigation evolves around two poles: the environmental study, with analysis of biotic and abiotic indices and the assessment of stocks, followed by the zootechnical study to control reproduction and follow development to the juvenile stage. The work’s value is obvious, concerning breeding new local species for aquaculture: it economically diversifies the market, increasing depleted natural stocks, contributes to the ecological restoration of the marine environment in devastated, over-exploited zones and preserves biodiversity of native species in danger of extinction.
The oyster is a convincing example: scientific researchers are working on reproducing flat oysters to restock the depleted natural environment. These operations address professional difficulties: the demise of the species cultivated by oyster bed farmers (Japanese oyster or cupped oyster). The flat oyster has better resistance, a better taste and is worth more on the market than its Japanese congener. Besides, by reintroducing a local species into their natural environment, the goal is to attain a high value-added economic niche.
The specificity of STELLA MARE is to transfer the technological innovations developed on the site to marine professionals. As an example, while working on the research program “Behavioral Modelling of Marine species” researchers gained new skills in the fields of data acquisition and monitoring in natural environments using technology and connected objects. These technological innovations (developed and implemented together) participate in a rapidly expanding sector, offering important perspectives in expansion, education and employment.