Overview of the 6 projects funded by Pure Ocean

  • North of Barcelona, marine sponges to absorb plastics?

Pure Ocean has helped support Marta and her team’s research on sea sponges off the coast of Barcelona. These organisms filter seawater for food. They then filter out the micro-plastics and chemical compounds dissolved in the seawater, potentially “destroying” them and transforming them into particles that are edible by other organisms. Research that may, one day, enable us to reduce plastic pollution in the sea, protect biodiversity and people’s health.


  • Off the coast of Chile, deep-sea exploration of seamounts

Pure Ocean is helping young researcher Ariadna discover the biodiversity present in the great depths off Easter Island. For the first time, new families of tropical starfish have been identified [Oreasteridae cf. new genus and Goniasteridae cf C.new genus] through her ROV exploration of the Pukao and Apolo seamounts (+or-200m).

It is also an opportunity to reflect on the creation of new marine protected areas in order to preserve the amazing and specific biodiversity of seamounts.

  • In Mexico, Enrique and his team are developing “closed-circuit” land-based aquaculture to preserve the local reef ecosystem

Pure Ocean has funded the establishment of a pilot laboratory to experiment with land-based aquaculture in the Yucatan, where aquifers are infiltrated with seawater.

These tests, based on an innovative method known as “integrated multi-trophic aquaculture”, consist of simultaneously rearing fish, mollusks and marine plants: each species finding a source of food in the waste of the other species. A closed circuit food chain, inspired by nature’s own that has functioned for over 4 billion years.

The first tests are encouraging: tilapia, mussels and algae have acclimatized very well to the underground seawater.

Next step: Complexify the system with new species and increase yield without toxic discharge. A truly sustainable aquaculture in perspective, that can help protect the Mexican Caribbean.

  •  In the Mediterranean, an application to monitor coastal marine biodiversity

Septentrion Environnement, via a Pure Ocean grant, was able to finalize the Androïd version of the POLARIS app (an iOS version is in the making) that allows divers to collect biodiversity data for the Parc des Calanques in the Mediterranean Sea.

Data collection is essential to better know and protect the environment. Thanks to participatory science, the general public becomes an actor in research and helps to protect the planet.

How does participatory science work? Voluntary citizens can – following an established scientific protocol – make observations, measurements or counts and transmit the data for processing and analysis by scientists.

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  • Satellite images of Europe’s coastal waters to help improve water quality

The challenge is to work on a statistical model based on 20 years of satellite images of European coastal waters: measuring the color of the water enables the acquisition of qualitative and quantitative data on the biogeochemical composition of surface waters.

At the border between the ocean and the continents, coastal waters are home to a rich biodiversity and complex habitats, which are subject to natural pressures accentuated by human activities.

This research will provide essential information to decision makers, enabling them to take appropriate measures to stabilize and / or enhance natural biodiversity.

  • Canada’s Climate Change Sentinel Ferry
    Eric, in Canada, took advantage of the arrival of the ice and the immobilization of the ferry serving the Nunatsiavut region, to install high-tech measuring instruments acquired thanks to a Pure Ocean grant. Inuit students will be recruited and trained to monitor changes in salinity, PH and other key indicators of climate change. Measurements will begin as early as June, in this area of Canada’s far north, which is very sensitive to climate change.

    Thanks to all of you, Marta, Laura, Hubert, Eric, Enrique and Ariadna and to all the teams that work with you.