PROTEKER: Implementation of an underwater observatory at Kerguelen

JPEG - 2.7 kb Effects of global change on the marine benthos and habitats in Kerguelen Islands. Establishment of a base line for ecological and genetic monitoring, protection and conservation

In the current context of climate changes, variations of the sea level and of marine biodiversity [particularly benthic], (extinction, shifts, replacements, “exotic” and invading species) will affect the Southern Islands, particularly in coastal waters. Sites explored during past ocean cruises or by diving around Kerguelen, having given place to collections and research tasks, are revisited during cruises of « La Curieuse ». The observations and the examination of these new collections are compared with those carried out since the Seventies. All the data, old and new, are/will be captured in existing or compatible databases associated with a GIS. Certain species of which the genetic structure is known are selected for a genetic monitoring and the determination of sensitive areas. The whole will bring the scientific bases to the determination of zones to be protected (site, area and optimum distances between the protected zones) and managed.

New on the site
Mar. 2017 a PROTEKER’s model species (Abatus cordatus) on the net
Feb. 2017 PROTEKER-the project VideoClip [FR]
Jan. 2017 PROTEKER-phase1 in Rapport d’activité IPEV
presentation PROTEKER-phase1 Public Conferences in Endoume
carnet de mission 2016-06
carnet de mission 2016-05
carnet de mission 2016-04
carnet de mission 2016-03
carnet de mission 2016-02
carnet de mission 2016-01
Déc. 2016 carnet de mission aux îles australes 2016
Oct. 2016 presentation Intn. Conf. Ecological Sciences, 24-28/10/2016, Marseille, France
Mai 2016 presentation 2nd Eur. Conf. Scientific Diving, 9-11/05/2016, Kristineberg, SE
diaporama campaign 2015
online publishing of the sea temperature monitoring
diaporama campaign 2014
diaporama campaign 2013
diaporama campaign 2011-12

- France Télévisions reporting FR3 (2014) (Marie Herenstein)
PROTEKER sequence begins at 02:45

Click on the thumbail to download
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Article in "Espèces", 2016: Féral (J.-P.), Beurier (J.-P.), Marschal (C.), Marty (G.), Motreuil (S.), Poulin (E.), Roca (J.-C.), Saucède (T.). Kerguelen, un archipel sous haute surveillance. Espèces , 21 : 33-39.

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Article in "Underwater Technology", 2016: Féral (J.-P.), Saucède (T.), Poulin (E.), Marschal (C.), Marty (G.), Roca (J.-C.), Motreuil (S.), Beurier (J.-P.). PROTEKER : implementation of a submarine observatory at the Kerguelen islands (Southern Ocean). Underwater Technology 34(1) : 3-10. doi : 10.3723/ut.34.003

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Rapport d’activité de l’IPEV, 2016: Féral (J.-P.), Saucède (T.), Améziane (N.) 2016. PROTEKER phase 1: l’installation. Un observatoire sous-marin des effets du changement global sur les communautés benthiques côtières de l’Archipel des Kerguelen. Rapport d’activité, Campagne d’été 2015-2016 incluse, IPEV, Brest, pp. 28-35. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.32380.13448

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Presentation of PROTEKER phase 1 (general public)

PROTEKER, IPEV program 1044 - Summer field campaigns

This IPEV program n° 1044 - PROTEKER has been launched during the austral summer 2011-2012. It is coordonated by Jean-Pierre Féral (IMBE, Marseille) and Nadia Améziane (MNHN, Paris - Concarneau). Several marine labaratories are involved in France, and also in Belgium and Chile (see partners page).

The objective of PROTEKER is to check the probable impact of climate changes at sea which implicatesdata mining and revisiting already known sites. An underwater observatory is implemented to monitor representative coastal habitats. At the end, the project will produce an inventory of existing data, capture those which are still not available (gray litterature) and manage them in a georeferenced database.
The field part will permit to chose the sites to be monitored and to make qualitative(*) comparisons between the present state and how it was 10 to 50 years ago. This is possible thanks to the availability of La Curieuse in the Kerguelen waters. She can sail all around the Island (except the west coast where the conditions are always very rough) and in the Golfe du Morbihan making possible to explore a lot of coastal habitats. Three summer campaigns have been asked.
To plan these cruises and campaigns regarding the framework of the international environmental law makes it possible to produce “useful” data. The multidisciplinary missions could also help to determine bioregions and select protection criteria for research development, protection of ecosystems.
(*) Only sedimentary bottoms of the Baie du Morbihan have been studied "quantitatively". There is no quantitative record for hard substrates.

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The trawler "La Curieuse"

- The first field campaign was done around Kerguelen Island, onboard "La Curieuse" from December 12th, 2011 and January 9th, 2012. It was dedicated to exploration and choice of observation sites. Some were equiped of temperature recorders. See report (in French)
- The field cruise 2012-13 was cancelled following the damage of the "Marion Dufresne II" to Crozet where she struck a shoal.
- The second field campaign (November 30th - December 17th, 2013) made it possible to complete the installation of 7 monitored sites, north and south of Kerguelen coast and in the Bay of Morbihan. Temperature recorders were deployed as well as colonization plates. See report (in French)
- The third and last scientific cruise at sea is planned for the southern summer 2014-2015

The observations are made by means of diving (down to 30 m depth) and using a mini-ROV - right (down to 100 m depth)

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Sampling and shooting
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Mini-ROV "Observer" (Subsea Tech)

Collections are made by diving and trawling - right (100 m long hauls, 3 min at 1 kn at 50 m and 100 m depth)

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Collection of organisms
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Agassiz type trawl _ Kerguelen

The chosen sites of observation are equipped with temperature recorders - left (5 m and 15 m depth) and of plates of colonization - right (approximately 10 m depth)

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thermorecorder _ fouling
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Colonization plate

Partners and participants

PROTEKER is coordonated by Jean-Pierre Féral (IMBE, Marseille) and Nadia Améziane (MNHN, Paris-Concarneau).
Several laboratories collaborate to this program
in France

  • Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d’Écologie marine et continentale, IMBE - Research unit 7263, Marseille
  • Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, MNHN, Paris
    • Biologie des organismes et écosystèmes aquatiques - UMR 7208 BOREA
    • Institut de Systématique, Evolution et Biodiversité - UMR 7205 ISEB
    • Evolution Paris Seine - UMR 7138
  • Laboratoire d’océanographie et du climat: expérimentations et approches numériques - UMR 7159 LOCEAN, Paris
  • Biogéosciences UMR 6282, Dijon
  • Centre de droit maritime et océanique EA 1165, Nantes
  • Observatoire Océanologique de Banyuls-sur-Mer UMS 2348
  • Réserve Naturelle des Terres Australes Françaises

and abroad

  • Chile:
    • LEM, Santiago
    • LMAS, Punta Arenas
  • Belgium:
    • BIOMAR, Brussels
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D. Aurelle G. Bellan D. Bellan-Santini A. Chenuil-Maurel
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J.-P. Féral C. Marschal C. Rocher M. Selva
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J. Vacelet N. Améziane R. Causse G. Duhamel
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M. Eléaume M. Hautecoeur P. Bouchet B. de Reviers de Maury
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A. Dettaï G. Lecointre C. Ozouf-Costaz E. Sultan
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B. David S. Motreuil S. Pierrat T. Saucède
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J.-C. Roca J.-P. Beurier E. Poulin C. Gonzalez-Wevar
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A. Diaz C. De Ridder G. Marty R. David

Observation sites

Height sites have been chosen around Kerguelen Island:
- two on the north coast ( Choiseul and Baleiniers sectors): Baie de l’Oiseau (Port Christmas) and Îlot des Trois Bergers.
- two on the south coast (Audierne sector): Fjord des Portes Noires and Îles du Prince de Monaco
- two at the bottom of the Baie du Morbihan: Île Haute and Île Longue
- two in the surroundings of the Passe Royale: Île Suhm and Ilot Channer.


Baie de l’Oiseau - Port Christmas

48°40’55"S 69°01’58"E
-48.68194 69.03277
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Îlôt des Trois Bergers

49°17’24"S 69°42’41"E
-49.29000 69.71138
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Fjord des Portes Noires Iles du Prince de Monaco
49°29’39"S 69°08’58"E 49°36’00"S 69°14’23"E
-49.49416 69.14944 -49.60000 69.23972
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Île Haute Île Longue
49°23’15"S 69°56’29"E 49°32’19"S 69°53’03"E
-49.38750 69.94138 -49.53861 69.88416

Ile Haute
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Ile Longue
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Passe Royale

Île Suhm Ilot Channer
49°29’36"S 70°09’41"E 49°22’59"S 70°11’08"
-49.49333 70.16138 -49.3831 70.1858

Ile Suhm
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Ilot Channer
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Equipment used for measurement and recording of temperature: HOBO
- video temperature probe :
- HOBO Optic USB Base Station :
- tutorial software :

Recorded sea water temperatures

Sector Station/Depth(m) 5 15 5 15 5 15 5 15 5 15
1 Ilot Channer X X
1 Ile Suhm X X X X
2 Ile Haute X X X X X X X
2 Ile Longue X X X X X X X X
3 Port Christmas X X X X X
4 Ilot des Trois Bergers X X X
5 Fjord des Portes Noires X X X X
5 Iles du Prince de Monaco X X
Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Sectors: 1- Passe Royale, 2- Baie du Morbihan, 3- Choiseul, 4- Baleiniers, 5- Audierne

All data are copyright - ©PROTEKER
Sea water temperature at 15m depth in the Baie du Morbihan - 2012-2015
IL: Ile Longue, IH: Ile Haute, IS: Ile Suhm, IC: Ilot Channer
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Colonization plates

In every site, a system of 10 plates of raw clay (20 x 20 cm) is fixed to the rock face in a depth of about 10 m.
JPEG - 55.1 kb Colonization plates installed at the Ile Suhm

Useful references

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André Marc

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Les fonds des îles escales du Marion-Dufresne 2 étant presque totalement inconnus, PROTEKER profite des escales du navire pour, en fonction des conditions logistiques et météorologiques, avec l’autorisation du commandant et de l’OPA, pour effectuer des explorations en plongée ou au moyen d’un ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle).

- 23 décembre 2013, les langoustes et le benthos d’Amsterdam

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REFERENCE ARTICLES AND BOOKS Ocean & climate plateform. (no date).at
Abele, D., Brey, T. & Philipp, E. Bivalve models of aging and the (...)

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PROTEKER 5 (3 nov. 2016 – 31 dec. 2016 in the field) is the 2nd summer campaign of Proteker phase 2.
Report of the fith field campaign PDF (in French)
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