A programme of naturalist observations in the overseas territories
Launched in 2008, REMMOA (REcensement des Mammifères marins et autre Mégafaune pélagique par Observation Aérienne – Census of Marine Mammals and other Pelagic Megafauna by Aerial Observation) is a national programme that aims to improve knowledge of the populations of marine mammals and birds, rays, sharks and marine turtles in the oceans of the French overseas territories.
A huge field of study
Remmoa covered the French tropical maritime domain, one of the largest in the world, to which were added the waters of the IOC (Indian Ocean Commission) countries through regional collaboration agreements, for a total of more than 4 million square kilometres spread over three oceans – from the Caribbean to the Mozambique Channel, from French Polynesia to New Caledonia and Wallis & Futuna.
The observations are made from an aircraft, which allows
which allows a large area to be covered in a short time.
time. This method is flexible in its implementation, depending on the wind and sea state, as well as on the weather. This method is flexible in its implementation, depending on wind and sea conditions, on which the quality of the observations depends. It allows to acquire comparable data sets witha standardised collection method.
The main benefit of these campaigns is the acquisition of new knowledge, on the high seas, about ocean habitats and species that are currently largely unknown.
The results obtained will make it possible to identify priority habitats for the creation and delimitation or management of marine protected areas or sanctuaries for marine mammals. These data have also been used in the framework of the designation of IMMA (Important Marine Mammal Areas) : Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force.
Identifying conservation areas
The aim of these campaigns is to produce a “snapshot” of the
of the distribution and abundance of marine
abundance of marine mammals, seabirds, sea turtles, rays
turtles, rays, sharks and large fish visible at the
visible at the surface. They also make it possible to
identify the habitats associated with the highest densities
densities or the highest biological diversity. In addition,
In addition, the distribution of certain human activities
activities (fishing, maritime traffic, waste) are also
listed. These campaigns, which will identify priority
priority areas for conservation, are the first of their kind to be
of this type to be carried out in these regions.
Atlantic : EEZs of the French Antilles and Guyana
South-West Indien Ocean :EEZ of Reunion, Mayotte
Mayotte, the Eparses Islands and the countries of the
Commission countries (Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and
South Pacific : EEZ of French Polynesia
South-West Pacific : EEZ of New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna
Overview and observations
An aerial survey is an activity that requires intense concentration. Surveying marine mammals requires naturalist knowledge and a sharp eye.