The geomorphological features of the Portofino MPA promontory favour the development of a rich and highly diversified benthic fauna and flora. The area hosts the most important shallow-water coral population of the Ligurian Sea and contains significant gorgonian populations. The fish community includes such species as the brown grouper, brown meagre, dentex and barracuda. The coastal areas are also home to the ribbed Mediterranean limpet (Patella ferruginea), an endemic gastropod mollusc from the western Mediterranean and one of the most endangered invertebrates of the entire basin.
The species is included in Annex II of the SPAMI Convention, along with Appendix 2 of the Bern Convention and Annex IV of the Habitats Directive. Furthermore, the ribbed Mediterranean limpet is a target species for evaluating good marine environmental status (GES) in line with the Italian Marine Strategy and EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). This species, however, has all but disappeared due to pollution and being harvested for food and bait by recreational fishermen.
The general objective of the RE.LIFE project is to reintroduce the ribbed Mediterranean limpet to the Portofino MPA and to other Ligurian MPAs (Bergeggi and Cinque Terre) included in four Natura 2000 network sites, as well as to raise awareness of the importance of conserving this species. To achieve this goal, the project will carry out the following actions:
The project will contribute to the implementation of the MSFD as well as helping carry out the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020.
Expected results: The project expects to achieve the following results: