Sixth week in Lazio

June 22-28, 2023

After nearly a month of sailing, sailing campaign of LIFE A-MAR NATURA2000 (LIFE20 GIE/IT/001352) organized and coordinated by Triton Research, with the operational support of the Italian Naval League, carries out its final leg to discover the wonders of the marine sites of the Natura 2000 Network of Campania and Lazio: starting on June 23 from the Regno di Nettuno Marine Protected Area and continuing on June 26 to explore the Circeo National Park and the coasts near Ostia, concluding on June 28 from 11 a.m. with a major event at the headquarters of the Lega Navale Italiana Sezione Lido di Ostia.

Among immense prairies of Posidonia oceanica, forests of Cymodocea nodosa, white and red Gorgonias develops the extraordinary underwater world that surrounds for tens of square kilometers the three islands of the MPA Regno di Nettuno, Ischia, Procida and Vivara. Here it is possible to dive into seabeds of singular beauty due to the volcanic nature of the island, which has generated splendid underwater caves with a spectacle of colors, including areas of coralligenous, red algae, madrepores, corals and an expanse of the rare “false black coral” (Gerardia savalia), characteristic of Ischia and present along the ridge of the tower of S. Angelo. Animating this wonderful underwater garden is a great wealth of fish: golden groupers, parrotfish, red damselfish and peacock damsels, but also squid, squid, all species of bluefish and small tunnids. The waters of the Kingdom are also frequented by large numbers of cetaceans: the Canyon of Cuma is home to the most important family in the Mediterranean of common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), on the red list of endangered species.

“Spyros,” one of the five boats recovered from criminal activity and made available for this project by the Italian Naval League, continued its course to discover the unspoiled charm of the Circeo National Park in search of creatures in the stretch of sea between Anzio and Terracina. A wetland area that offers the ideal refuge for many species of waterfowl, such as egrets, cranes, lapwings, but also a huge variety of fish and the possibility of encountering specimens of the marsh tortoise (Emys orbicularis), now at risk of extinction in Italy.

Two participatory meetings (on the 23rd in Ischia and on the 26th at Circeo) accompanied the last stages of the sailing campaign. In addition, two events organized by Lipu, one of the project partners, dedicated to learning about the exceptional biodiversity in the stretch of sea between the Secche di Tor Paterno SAC and the Ostiense coastline. The shallows of Tor Paterno are a marine protected area that forms like an island at the bottom of the sea, among very rare corals, such as the Alcyonarians, where so many faunal species have built their burrows, such as moray eels, conger eels, mullet and the prized anglerfish; while on the surface it is easy to spot the flights of rare seabird species, such as gannets and labians, and in the sea cetaceans, especially dolphins.

Most relevant Natura 2000 marine and coastal sites:

  • IT6000010 Secche di Tor Paterno
  • IT6000009 Secche di Torre Flavia
  • IT6000008 Secche di Macchiatonda
  • IT6000007 Fondali antistanti S. Marinella
  • IT6030048 Litorale di Torre Astura
  • IT6000011Fondali tra Torre Astura e Capo Portiere
  • IT6040015 Parco Nazionale del Circeo
  • IT6000013 Fondali tra Capo Circeo e Terracina
  • IT8010028 Foce Volturno – Variconi
  • IT6040019 Isole di Ponza, Palmarola, Zannone, Ventotene e S. Stefano
  • IT8030010 Fondali marini di Ischia, Procida e Vivara