EUROPEAN UNION OF AQUARIUMS CURATORS Conference 2019 october 14 - 18

Franco del Amo - A new Citizen of the Ocean initiative to promote good practices toward Blue Society

Authors: Franco del Amo, Francisco (1) (2) ; Co-authors: Atger, Elisa (3) (2); Cira, Manuel (3) (2); Cornejo, Alejandra (4) (2); Eglinskiene, Jurgita (9); Gaspar, Cécile; Mann-Lang, Judy (6) (2) ; Mastro, Ed (7) (2); Vallette, Philippe, (3) (2); Van den Sande, Paul (2); Valettini, Bruna (8)

Institutes: (1) Aquarium Finisterrae, (2) World Ocean Network; (3) Nausicaá; (4) CeDePesca; (5) Te mana o te moana; (6) South African Association for Marine Biological Research; (7) Cabrillio Marine Aquarium; (8) Costa Edutainment S.p.A.; (9) Lithuanian Sea Museum

Twenty years on, the World Ocean Network has grown into an active hub that can mobilise up to 450 organisations from across 80 countries on 5 continents, reaching over 300 million visitors every year.

Its initiatives have achieved recognition and impact worldwide, raising awareness, inspiring action and spreading advocacy through international cooperation. As the World Ocean Network looks towards the next twenty years, we seek to consolidate its vision of the Blue Society where humankind benefits from the Ocean’s vast potential while actively preserving its environmental integrity.

This new initiative aims to gather, document and reward good practices in the sustainable use of the Ocean, using the Citizen of the Ocean Community and Passport to disseminate these practices nationally and internationally. These good practices will recognise and highlight the most effective, innovative and creative activities implemented across the world to raise awareness, share knowledge and build a Blue Society.

Lucia Di Iorio - Noise impact study on a tropical fish population in the Sea Life of Jesolo (VE), Italy.

Presenting author: Lucia Di Iorio1, Cédric Gervaise1, Sabrina Repetto2, Flavio Gagliardi3

Institute: Institut CHORUS1, Jesolo Sea Life Merlin Attractions Italy Srl2, Panaque Srl. 3

Many fish species are known to produce and hear sounds mainly for communication during reproduction.

Therefore, sound plays a key role for single fish and fish populations, and noise from human activities is known to impact fish’s well-being.

The aim of the present study was to investigate potential effects of noises produced by a construction site on the fish living in the oceanic tank of the Sea Life in Jesolo (VE).

Through the use of hydrophone, we monitored the noise continuously for one month. Noise levels in the low frequency range (< 200Hz), which corresponds to the hearing and communication range of most fishes, had median peak levels of about 110dB. These levels were mainly due to noise from pumps, LSS and lighting systems. The noise levels recorded are known to affect life stages and activities of fishes in the wild. Here we discuss implications of noise reduction in aquaria.

Dr Milena Mičić - Mapping the Mediterranean Pillow Coral (Cladocora caespitosa) habitats in Medulin Bay, Istria, Croatia

Institute: Aquarium Pula d.o.o., Croatia

The endemic Mediterranean pillow coral (Cladocora caespitosa) is the only coral in the Mediterranean known to construct reef structures.

Hot spots of this coral have been recently reported in Medulin bay, North Adriatic, which is a part of NATURA 2000 with high anthropogenic activity (tourism, fishery). In this project, the presence of coral colonies has been investigated performing visual census method from October 2018 to June 2019. In the eastern part of the bay, 96 solitary colonies of C. caespitosa were counted, ranging from 8 to 30 cm. Colonies are dispersed in the infralittoral, on depths from 2 to 8 m.

Coral bleaching and scattered dead fragments were detected, probably as a result of climate changes and mechanical damages: marine biodynamics, anchoring, fishing tools.

Public awareness about the species was emphasized in Aquarium Pula. A billboard displaying how to prevent deterioration of corals is in the process of setting up on the coast in cooperation with local authorities.

Massimo Morpurgo - Antibiotic Treatment of Mucodegeneration and Positive Buoyancy in a Chambered Nautilus Nautilus pompilius

Authors: Massimo Morpurgo 1 and Gregory J. Barord 2

Institutes: 1 Museum of Nature South Tyrol, Via Bottai 1, 39100 Bolzano, Italy. 2 Department of Marine Science, Central Campus Regional Academy, 1800 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50309, USA

The correct diagnosis and treatment of disease in chambered nautiluses Nautilus pompilius are difficult.

The basic morphology and natural behaviours of the species tend to mask the initial onset of a disease or infection, and by the time it is observable, mortality usually occurs.

A single specimen of chambered nautilus at the Museum of Nature South Tyrol, Italy, exhibited symptoms of an infection, including mucus production, abnormal buoyancy, irregular hood appearance, and inconsistent tentacle movement. Soon after, tetracycline hydrochloride was administered in bath form at 25 mg/L in seawater daily for 30 min over six consecutive days. The specimen regained normal buoyancy after the fifth day.

After the 6-d treatment, the specimen regained all normal behaviours and appearance within 2 weeks. More than 1 year after treatment, the specimen was exhibiting normal behaviours with no adverse reactions.

When administered soon after symptoms of an infection were observed, tetracycline was effective at halting the progression of symptoms and led to the full recovery of the chambered nautilus.

Anton Weissenbacher - Project Batagur baska: first steps toward a sustainable reintroduction

Institute: Tiergarten Schönbrunn (Vienna Zoo)

The long-term in situ breeding Project for the critically endangered Northern River Terrapin (Batagur baska) in Bangladesh takes the next conservation steps and searches for reintroduction habitats in the west Sundarbans.

In 2018 we released five males with satellite transmitters in the brackish river system and tracked their movements. First results demonstrated differing up- and downstream migration routes from the release site and that fishery poses a great threat for reintroduction.

Two males were found dead in fishnets, two males were recovered from markets or fishermen and one signal was lost in India.

Observations showed that the recovered males slightly gained weight and were able to find food. Nevertheless, due to the precarious situation of the natural habitat a sustainable reintroduction of terrapins remains unsecure.  

To determine constructive future implementation for the species in the wild a second release trial is scheduled in October 2019.

Anton Weissenbacher - First breeding success of Capros aper at Vienna zoo

Institute: Tiergarten Schönbrunn (Vienna Zoo)

Capros aper, a member of the Order Caproiformes and the only member of the Genus Capros occurs in deeper part of the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

It can be seen regular in public aquariums as typical fauna element of its distribution area. There is only little information about reproduction of this species.

The few breeding attempts of Capros aper were not successful. Only one specimen could be reared to adult stadium at a lab in the USA. When we saw spawning activities in our C. aper group we sampled the floating eggs with a net and transferred them to kreisel tanks.

We start to feed the larvae with pelagic copepods. The survival rate in the first two weeks was really good. It was unexpected for us that many larvae died in a later stage. At least 5 of the hatchlings reached sexual maturity.

There is still much effort necessary for the successful breeding of C. aper but some important steps are done.

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