Research Seminar

Organised by

Department of Biosciences & Ocean Studies, Faculty of Science, in collaboration with the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Mauritius

Date:      Mon 16th April 2018

Time:   10: 00 – 11:15

Venue:  R. Burrenchobay Lecture Theatre (RBLT)

10:00 – 10:30 Research Talk: “Concealing exploitation and conservation of tropical marine ecosystems: overview of current research actions, with a focus on pelagic ecosystems, FADs and tropical tuna”

By Dr Manuela Capello, Research Scientist at IRD Institut de Recherche pour le Développement MARBEC* Research Unit - Marine Biodiversity, Conservation & Exploitation, Sète, France.

*MARBEC (MARine Biodiversity, Exploitation and Conservation) is a research unit based in France, joining scientists from IRD, IFREMER, CNRS and University of Montpellier that study the functioning of marine ecosystems and the impacts of human activities on lagoons, coastal and pelagic ecosystems.

10:30 – 11:00 Research Talk: “Examples of data collection, management and processing for marine ecosystems in the South West of Indian Ocean”

By Dr Julien Barde, IT research engineer, working for IRD since 2008. The focus of Dr Barde’s work is the interoperability of spatial information systems in the marine domain (fisheries, related ecological observations and environmental parameters). Dr Barde is in charge of improving data management and sharing by complying with different standards for data interoperability. He is interested in new methods for data collection and processing (deep learning). He is currently working with (and hosted by) Indian Ocean Commission.

Contact persons:   FOS: Associate Professor Dr Sabrina Dyall,

                                    FOA: Mr Nadeem Nazurally,


Concealing exploitation and conservation of tropical marine ecosystems: overview of current research actions, with a focus on pelagic ecosystems, FADs and tropical tuna

Dr Manuela Capello


Coastal ecosystems are facing unprecedented pressures from anthropogenic activities, such as overfishing, pollution and habitat degradation, which are further aggravated by climate change. In order to facilitate their access to the pelagic resources and reduce the fishing pressure on coastal/reef species, many coastal countries (including Mauritius) deployed Fish Aggregating devices (FADs). FADs are man-based rafts or buoys that can attract several pelagic fish species (tuna, dolphin fish, small pelagic fish,…). Not only FADs are used by coastal artisanal fisheries, but also are massively exploited by the industrial purse-seine tropical tuna fisheries, that deploy thousands of drifting FADs in the open ocean. Despite the large use of FADs worldwide, the management of FAD fisheries lacks of appropriate management tools, due to the current knowledge gaps on the mechanisms driving the association of fish to FADs and the unknown impacts of FADs on marine ecosystems (school fragmentation, ecological trap, overexploitation).

In this talk, I will first provide an overview of the main research activities conducted in MARBEC, such as the interactions between micro-organisms and macro-organisms and the ecosystem approach to fisheries. Then, I will focus on my main research topics: FADs and tropical tuna. I will present my recent works combining fisheries-independent data (biologging, echosounder) collected at FADs and modeling, to derive novel abundance indicators for tropical tuna. Finally, I will propose some ideas of future projects that could involve novel collaborations between scientists in MARBEC and in Mauritius.