Project actions Life Pinna

A. Preparatory actions, elaboration of management plans and/or of action plans

A.1 Environmental status and health assessment of seagrass meadows and Pinna nobilis populations in donor and receiving areas.

The action is the starting point of the Pinna nobilis restocking process and includes 2 sub-actions:

  1. The selection of donor sites;
  2. The evaluation of the environmental conditions and compatibility of the appropriate receiving areas to define the four specific pilot restocking sites for the following C1 Action.

The selected areas are along the north-west Italian Ligurian coast, the island of Asinara (north-west of Sardinia) and the north-east of the Adriatic Sea. In these 3 areas are located 4 Marine Protected Areas (Capo Mortola, Miramare, Strunjan and the Island of Asinara) which in the past have hosted healthy and numerous population of P. Nobilis.

Beneficiary responsible for the action: UNIGE

TIMELINE

• 10/2021 – Expected Start
• 12/2021 – Milestone: Identification of proper donor sites
• 03/2022 – Deliverable: Donor sites maps and environmental characterization
• 05/2022 – Deliverable: Report on environmental suitability of receiving areas for Pinna nobilis restoking
•05/2022 – End date

A.2 Molecular characterization of sentinel species in the putative pilot sites of restocking, and selection of the best candidates to be reproduced; by way of the most recent and powerful tools for bioinformatic analysis.

The objective is to assess the population of pathogens for P. nobilis restocking through analyses of the so-called “sentinel” bivalve species installed in each pilot site.

Beneficiary responsible for the action: UNISS

TIMELINE
• 10/2021 – Start Date.
• 05/2022 – Deliverable: report on the molecular characterization of sentinel species and identification of free pathogens sites.
• 05/2022 – Milestone: Definition of the complete suites of pathogens which cause the mass mortality of Pinna.
• 05/2022 – Milestone: Identification of the locations where pathogens are absent.
• 07/2022 – End date.

A.3 Survey on best practices for P. nobilis restocking concrete actions: swot analysis on the best restocking techniques and available methodologies.

The first activity involves the identification of key stakeholders. A SWOT analysis on the best restocking techniques will be carried out, offering useful indications to the project partners for replication actions in the areas identified by preparatory actions A.1 and A.2.

Beneficiary responsible for the action: ARPAL

TIMELINE
• 10/2021 – Start Date
• 12/2021 – Deliverable: List of key stakeholders
• 12/2021 – Milestone: Engagement of key stakeholder
• 12/2021 – Deliverable: Questionnaire produced
• 03/2022 – Milestone: Realization of interviews/ Focus Group
• 04/2022 – Deliverable: Report of interviews and FG
• 05/2022 – Milestone: Swot analysis
• 06/2022 – Deliverable: Report with SWOT analysis
• 05/2022 – End date

C. Conservation actions

C.1 Identification of the pilot sites for restocking

The action involves the elaboration of 4 georeferenced maps of the best restocking sites identified in each of the pilot sites (Capo Mortola, Miramare, Strunjan and Asinara).

Beneficiary responsible for the action: UNIGE

TIMELINE
• 04/2022 – Start Date
• 06/2022 – Milestone: Identification of the four pilot sites for restocking
• 06/2022 – Deliverable: Detailed georeferenced maps of the four specific pilot sites where restocking will be carried out
• 06/2022 – End date

C.2 Molecular characterization of surviving individuals of Pinna nobilis

The objective of the action is to investigate the presence of pathogens in adults used in controlled reproduction and, in addition, to select the most resistant organisms to be used in active breeding.
The action includes the following sub-actions:

  1. Molecular characterization to obtain an adequate knowledge on the genetic background of the sampled P. nobilis specimens.
  2. Performing diagnostic analyses to search for possible etiological agents in the sampled specimens.

Beneficiary responsible for the action: UNISS

TIMELINE

• 10/2021 – Start Date
• 12/2022 – Milestone: Identification of the genetic make-up of sill alive specimens
• 12/2022 – Deliverable: Report on the genetic make-up of survival specimens
• 05/2025 – Milestone: Identification of etiological agents with infect still alive fun mussel and their native areas
• 04/2025 – End date

C.3 Collection and growth of Pinna nobilis self-recruited individuals from Northern Adriatic Sea

The collection and growth of individuals will be carried out mainly in two sites: along the coast of Friuli Venezia Giulia and the Slovenian coast. It is expected to recruit a total of 70 juveniles per year of P. nobilis, for a total of 210 individuals during the project.
Beneficiary responsible for the action: SHORELINE
TIMELINE
• 10/2021 – Start Date
• 07/2022 – Milestone: First complete set up of the nursery-harvesting process achieved
• 07/2023 – Milestone: Second complete set up of the nursery-harvesting process achieved
• 07/2024 – Milestone: Third complete set up of the nursery-harvesting process achieved
• 08/2025 – Deliverable: Best practices protocol for manipulation, captation and growth of juveniles of P. nobilis
• 04/2025 – End date

C.4 Adaptation, breeding and reproduction for active restocking

The objective of the action is to outline a protocol for the controlled reproduction of P. nobilis. The action will be implemented through the following phases, followed by the transfer of the bred individuals foreseen in action C.5:
  1. Acclimatization and sexual maturation.
  2. Induction of spawning and fertilization of eggs.
  3. Breeding of larvae and metamorphosis.
  4. Juvenile breeding.
Beneficiary responsible for the action: UNIGE
TIMELINE
• 04/2022 – Start Date
• 09/2022 – Milestone: First spawning induction achieved
• 09/2023 – Milestone: Second spawning induction achieved
• 09/2024 – Milestone: Third spawning induction achieved
• 06/2025 – Deliverable: Best practices protocol for P. nobilis reproduction in controlled conditions
• 04/2025 – End date

C.5 Collection and transport of specimens from self-capture to receptor sites

The action includes the following sub-actions:
  1. Collection of organisms (sentinels and resistant adults) and small fragments from the mantle tissue from adults of P. nobilis
  2. Transport of sentinel organisms
  3. Transport of small fragments from the mantle tissue by adults of P. nobilis
  4. Transport of specimens from donor sites to recipient sites and incubation centers 
Beneficiary responsible for the action: ARPAL
TIMELINE
• 10/2021 – Start Date
• 12/2021 – Deliverable: protocols for collection and transport of all the organism and small fragments tissue
• 11/2023 – Milestone: Collection & transport of fragments of mantle tissue from adults (3 times) P. nobilis
• 03/2024 – Milestone: Collection & transport of adults (3 times, 10 units yearly) for C4
• 08/2024 – Milestone: Transport of juveniles (3 times) from donor to receptor areas for C6
• 12/2024 – Milestone: Collection & transport of larvae spawned in captivity (3 times) to the mussel farmers’ nursery areas
• 04/2025 – Milestone: Collection & transport (9 times) of sentinel organisms for A2, D1
• 05/2025 – Deliverable: Final report on all the transport forms
• 04/2025 – End date

C.6 Installation of the specimens of Pinna nobilis at the pilot areas

Considering the possible risks of accidental death during the previous actions, the action plans to transplant 55 individuals per year in 4 marine areas (Capo Mortola, Miramare, Strunjan and Asinara Island), for a total of 165 individuals transported during the three years of the project (2022-2024).
Beneficiary responsible for the action: SHORELINE
TIMELINE
• 01/2022 – Start date
• 07/2022 – Milestone: First transplanting setup of P. nobilis in four Pilot areas
• 07/2023 – Milestone: Second transplanting setup of P. nobilis in four Pilot areas
• 07/2024 – Milestone: Third transplanting setup of P. nobilis in four Pilot areas
• 08/2025 – Deliverable: Best practices for transplanting P. nobilis juveniles
• 08/2025 – Deliverable: Video “Pinna nobilis: how to transplant” – A DIY video”
• 08/2025 – End date

D. Monitoring of the impact of the project actions

D.1 Monitoring of pathogens in restocking sites by using sentinel species

This action involves constant molecular analysis of sentinel organisms to check for pathogens in Pinna nobilis specimens. The analysis will be carried out at regular intervals. After the first check, which will be carried out a few weeks after transplantation, regular checks will be carried out every 4 months.
Beneficiary responsible for the action: UNISS
TIMELINE
• 03/2022 – Start date
• 03/2022 – Milestone: Data from first year monitoring collected
• 06/2022 – Deliverable: Report on the analysis of etiological agents at year 1
• 03/2023 – Milestone: Data from second year monitoring collected
• 06/2023 – Deliverable: Report on the analysis of etiological agents at year 2
• 03/2024 – Milestone: Data from third year monitoring collected
• 06/2024 – Deliverable: Report on the analysis of etiological agents at year 3
• 10/2024 – End date

D.2 Monitoring of implanted juveniles

The action involves constant monitoring of all individuals implanted in the 4 pilot sites to assess their survival, growth and health status. The monitoring program involves the measurement of 6 different indicators.
Beneficiary responsible for the action: UNIGE
TIMELINE
• 06/2022 – Start date
• 06/2023 – Milestone: Data from first year monitoring collected
• 09/2023 – Deliverable: Report on the status of the restocked individuals of P. nobilis at year 1
• 06/2024 – Milestone: Data from second year monitoring collected
• 09/2024 – Deliverable: Report on the status of the restocked individuals of P. nobilis at year 2
• 06/2025 – Milestone: Data from third year monitoring collected
• 09/2025 – Deliverable: Report on the status of the restocked individuals of P. nobilis at year 3
• 09/2025 – End date

D.3 Monitoring of the project’s impact on the P. nobilis status

The action foresees the monitoring of the status of P. nobilis in the project areas, in order to assess the impact of restocking actions in terms of effectiveness. The monitoring will be carried out through two tools:
  1. The monitoring protocol of module 11N “Protected benthonic species; Pinna nobilis”, developed by the National Environmental Protection System, in the framework of implementation of the Marine Strategy Directive
  2. Citizen science activities
Beneficiary responsible for the action: ARPAL
TIMELINE
• 09/2021 – Start date
• 06/2022 – Milestone: Survey campaigns on the P. nobilis status ex ante in the donor sites and in the receptor sites
• 08/2022 – Deliverable: Report on P. nobilis ex ante
• 08/2025 – Milestone: Survey campaigns on the P. nobilis status ex post in the donor sites and in the receptor sites
• 08/2025 – Milestone: Citizen science campaigns
• 09/2025 – Deliverable: Report on P. nobilis ex post
• 09/2025 – Deliverable: Report on the citizen science campaigns
• 09/2025 – End date

E. Public awareness and dissemination of results

E.1 Communication

The action is aimed at disseminating project results and objectives to the target audience, raising awareness of the importance of Pinna nobilis and promoting the Natura 2000 network and the LIFE program. The target audience includes: sea users (divers, fishermen, residents, volunteers, tourists), profit and non-profit stakeholders and the community. The action foresees the production of information material that will be characterized by a common graphic line including the LIFE logo and Natura 2000.
The works involves the following actions:

  1. Elaboration of a communication plan.
  2. Informative materials and events.
  3. Communication.
  4. Realization of the final products and final conference. 

Beneficiary responsible for the action: TRITON


TIMELINE

• 09/2021 – Start date
• 05/2022 – Deliverable: Website and social network
• 10/2022 – Deliverable: Communication plan
• 10/2022 – Milestone: First public event
• 10/2022 – Deliverable: First video-documentary
• 09/2025 – End date

E.2 Replication and transfer

The objective of the action is to multiply the impacts of the project, through the transfer and replication of good practices and methodologies used by the project in other geographical areas.
The action includes the following phases:
  1. Development of the transfer and replication plan.
  2. Development of protocols.
  3. Replication and training.
Beneficiary responsible for the action: TRITON


TIMELINE

• 07/2023 – Start date
• 12/2024 – Deliverable: Protocols for replication
• 12/2024 – Milestone: Workshop for the transfer of the restocking action of P. nobilis in all the MED regions
• 09/2025– End date

E.3 Networking and synergies with other LIFE and/or non-LIFE projects

Networking will be carried out throughout the project and involves the exchange of experiences and technical and subject-specific documents in two events. In addition, the project will be involved in at least 5 projects working in similar areas.
Beneficiary responsible for the action: TRITON


TIMELINE

• 09/2021 – Start date
• 10/2023 – Milestone: First event of networking
• 09/2025 – End date

F. Project management

F.1 Project coordination and management, After LIFE plan and Green procurement

The objective of the action is to ensure proper management and coordination of the partnership in order to have an effective implementation of the planned activities. The action foresees the implementation of the After Life Plan, a final document of the project that involves a report of all the actions in order to guarantee a dissemination of the obtained results.
Beneficiary responsible for the action: ARPAL


TIMELINE

• 09/2021 – Start date
• 12/2021 – Milestone: Assignment of role to project manager PM, project responsible PR, technical-administrative monitoring TAR and financial manager FM
• 09/2025 – Milestone: Reports of Steering Committee meetings
• 09/2025 – Deliverable: After LIFE Plan
• 09/2025 – End date