SUSHI DROP (SUstainable fiSHeries wIth DROnes data Processing) project

Within the framework of the first project activities, the first kick-off meeting was held in the Laboratory of Marine Biology & Fisheries Resources of the University of Bologna (IT) on March 11 and 12, 2019. The purpose of the meeting was to meet project partners, review responsibilities of individual project partners and review the budget.
Protection of ecologically important areas and Marine Protected Areas is based more and more on accurate and non-invasive methods for mapping the marine ecosystems to establish their condition, extent and geographical location. Reliable and up-to-date information about the state of marine resources is essential to support sound management decisions. SUSHI-DROP project aims to evaluate the adoption of drones (UUVs – unmanned underwater vehicles) equipped with sensors to monitor physical, chemical and biological features. In particular, acoustical and optical technologies will be employed as a non-invasive mean to assess fish stocks population. The findings of the opto-acoustic surveys will be compared with classical procedures based on fish sampling and to assess the accuracy in deriving single-species abundance indices (in numbers or weight) for direct input into stock assessments.
A dedicated open-access database system will be created to collect, maintain and share the scientific data acquired by the UUVs. The final aim is to better understand the sensitivity of the habitats to fishing pressures and to design and implement more effective marine management plans.
The SUSHI DROP project is financed by the European Foundation for Regional Development under the Interreg V-A Program IT-CRO CBC (Priority Axis 3- Environment and Cultural Heritage).
The lead partner is the University of Bologna, and the project also includes five (5) partners from Italy and Croatia.

• University of Bologna – Laboratory of Marine Biology & Fisheries Resources (IT)
• Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (CRO)
• Marche region (IT)
• Fisheries Local Action Groups Costa Dei Trabocchi (IT)
• Association for Nature, Environment and Sustainable Development Sunce (CRO)
• Split-Dalmatia County (CRO)

Total budget of the project: 1.700.000,00 EUR
Funds of the program (ERDF): 1.450.000,00 EUR

Project is co-financed by the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs.

Start of project: 01/01/2019
End of project: 31/12/2021

Project manager: Vida Zrnčić, mag. oecol. et prot. nat.

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