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An ROV in the pilot area

There is great excitement in the pilot area of Capo Mortola (IM), where at the end of May, researchers from Arpal, Shoreline, and the University of Genoa immersed themselves and proceeded to relocate an individual of Pinna nobilis to a shallower depth, and therefore less exposed to surface wave motion variations, after it had survived the violent storms of recent months (read more here). The individual was placed in a “puddle” amidst Posidonia and subsequently protected with a metal cage.

For the first time, to facilitate the work of researchers, an ROV (remotely operated vehicle) was also used, an advanced tool for underwater exploration, purchased by Arpal and very useful for project activities. Operated from the boat, the robot first conducted a preliminary survey and then accompanied the divers in their operations (soon we will dedicate an in-depth analysis to explain how the ROV works and how it is used). Concurrently with the relocation action, in anticipation of upcoming transplants, researchers also began an experiment to assess the impact of the sea’s force on the mollusk’s valves. They placed several dead individuals at predetermined distances along a transect starting from a vortex area and ending in a much calmer zone. This way, researchers will be able to understand the level of hydrodynamics that the valves of animals that have not yet developed the byssus can “bear,” such as those that will soon be transplanted to Capo Mortola.

Photos credits: Arpal, Shoreline