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The American ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi was introduced into the Black Sea in the 80's via ballast water. This voracious species consumes everything from zooplankton to fish larvae and up to 10 times its own weight each day. The lack of natural predators of M. leidyi in the Black Sea has enabled it to develop exponentially, destroying the ecosystem within a few years and causing a decline in anchovy stocks. M. leidyi has also developed in the Mediterranean Sea where high densities of ctenophores can cause nuclear power stations to malfunction as they clog the cooling systems.
Since 2006, a low density of M. leidyi has been observed in the area of the 2 seas. As this ecosystem is very productive and constitutes an important commercial zone, a detailed study is necessary in  order to compensate for the lack of knowledge concerning the potential impact of M. leidyi in this region and in order to avoid a disastrous ecological and economic scenario in the Black Sea.

The MEMO project will provide decision-makers (e.g. institutions, local industry and Regional Councils) with the tools that will enable them to assess the potential impact of M. leidyi on fishing, tourism and industrial activities. These tools will be applied to 3 workshop study sites belonging to the 2 seas area.

This project was labellised by the AQUIMER Pole of Competitiveness on the 17th December, 2010.


16 rue du Commandant Charcot
62200 Boulogne-sur-Mer F

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