European Rewilding Network
068

BioRestore

Implementing new techniques and tools for the restoration and sustainable use of marine ecosystems

The fish are released in nature once they have reach a safe size.
AFP
BioRestore process enables a boost in the resilience of ecosystems around the restocked habitats.
Ecoocean
The fish are released in nature once they have reach a safe size.
Ecoocean

Started in 2012, the BioRestore project involves restocking wild fish populations – which may be threatened by factors such as overfishing, costal artificialization or pollution – through an innovative, scientifically validated, three-stage method based on the lifecycle of coastal fish.

The BioRestore process enhances the survival rate of juvenile fish, which may suffer mortality rates of up to 99% as they grow in the wild. Post-larval fish are initially captured by local fishermen using Ecocean CARE light traps. These are then raised in land-based fish farms, where their mortality rates are far much lower than in the wild (as low as 5%). They are then released back into the ocean at appropriate sites once they have reached a suitable size (typically 6 – 8 cm).

The patented BioRestore process has already seen 85 different fish species collected at three sites in the French Mediterranean. With nursery farms in Marseilles and Toulon, thousands of fish have subsequently been released back into the wild each year.

Project: BioRestore
Region: Montpellier, France
Habitat types: Coastal shallow-water nurseries
Keystone species: Dusky grouper, Sparids, red mullets, etc
Fauna (mega) species present: Dusky grouper
Type of project: Methods and experiences to allow natural numbers and densities of native, wild or rewilded species, Pilot projects focusing on supporting key wildlife species being present in more natural densities, showing their role in the ecosystem, Projects creating local pride and common ownership and responsibility for wild nature amongst land owners, communities and resource users, leading to new alternative uses, Re-introductions / re-stockings of locally extinct or rare key wildlife species, or breeding of such species with the goal to release them into the wild, Successful agreements with sea or freshwater fisheries and/or managers about sustainable fishing and the development of sustainable tourism, in order to bring back wildlife in natural numbers, Successful agreements with water management entities about changing water management methods to allow for natural processes, Successful examples of enterprises that are based on economic values of the wild and that contribute to rewilding through generating revenues, business, jobs and income
Aim and vision: The aim is to enhance survival rates at the early life stages, facing the highest mortality rates. The colonization of nursery areas is the second most critical phase after the larval stage, with 90% mortality due to predation and the competition. BioRestore aims to lower this threat for fish stocks by increasing the survival rate at this crucial life stage.
BioRestore intends to provide a tool in order to protect early stages of fish from damaged areas such as construction works or polluted locations. This tool could be used easily in different contexts to help the resilience of fish population towards human or natural issues resulting in lacks of nursery habitats for fish.
Uniqueness of the project: The process BioRestore is a unique and has been patented. It has several application domains including rewilding purposes, but also for aquaculture or the aquariology hobby.
Other activities: Research, Sale of sustainable products
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: The aim for the future years is to extend the use of this tool to more locations in the world, being able to specifically target endangered species and to help to enhance the recruitment in these species populations.
Results so far: So far, thousands of fish have been restocked and the mortality rate in the farm is very low (between 5 and 10% during the whole breeding phase, regarding all the species) compared with the natural mortality rate (90-99%). Fifty different species have been captured and benefited from the program. Furthermore, another farm has been built and is actually working in Toulon.
Inspirational value: As an effective response to the collapse of fish stocks, Ecocean proposes two complementary solutions which both have the same goal: to boost the recruitment and survival of fish: BioRestore® to increase fish population by restocking, and Biohut®, to bring back fish nursery function in places where it has been damaged by built infrastructures (ports, pipelines, seawalls…).
Experience you would like to share: We could share our experience about the process in order to target different species and to adapt to new contexts that differs from the Mediterranean. We have the experience of successfully capturing, breeding and restocking a lot of species.
Experience you would like to gain: We would like to gain experience about new species and new ecological context in order to improve and expand the process to new areas.
Map
Country
France
Start year
2015
Area type
Marine: coastal
Natural process
Other
Flagship species
Other
BioRestore
BioRestore
The fish are released in nature once they have reach a safe size.
AFP
BioRestore process enables a boost in the resilience of ecosystems around the restocked habitats.
Ecoocean
The fish are released in nature once they have reach a safe size.
Ecoocean

Started in 2012, the BioRestore project involves restocking wild fish populations – which may be threatened by factors such as overfishing, costal artificialization or pollution – through an innovative, scientifically validated, three-stage method based on the lifecycle of coastal fish.

The BioRestore process enhances the survival rate of juvenile fish, which may suffer mortality rates of up to 99% as they grow in the wild. Post-larval fish are initially captured by local fishermen using Ecocean CARE light traps. These are then raised in land-based fish farms, where their mortality rates are far much lower than in the wild (as low as 5%). They are then released back into the ocean at appropriate sites once they have reached a suitable size (typically 6 – 8 cm).

The patented BioRestore process has already seen 85 different fish species collected at three sites in the French Mediterranean. With nursery farms in Marseilles and Toulon, thousands of fish have subsequently been released back into the wild each year.

Map
Country
France
Start year
2015
Area type
Marine: coastal
Natural process
Other
Flagship species
Other
Specification
Project: BioRestore
Region: Montpellier, France
Habitat types: Coastal shallow-water nurseries
Keystone species: Dusky grouper, Sparids, red mullets, etc
Fauna (mega) species present: Dusky grouper
Description
Type of project: Methods and experiences to allow natural numbers and densities of native, wild or rewilded species, Pilot projects focusing on supporting key wildlife species being present in more natural densities, showing their role in the ecosystem, Projects creating local pride and common ownership and responsibility for wild nature amongst land owners, communities and resource users, leading to new alternative uses, Re-introductions / re-stockings of locally extinct or rare key wildlife species, or breeding of such species with the goal to release them into the wild, Successful agreements with sea or freshwater fisheries and/or managers about sustainable fishing and the development of sustainable tourism, in order to bring back wildlife in natural numbers, Successful agreements with water management entities about changing water management methods to allow for natural processes, Successful examples of enterprises that are based on economic values of the wild and that contribute to rewilding through generating revenues, business, jobs and income
Aim and vision: The aim is to enhance survival rates at the early life stages, facing the highest mortality rates. The colonization of nursery areas is the second most critical phase after the larval stage, with 90% mortality due to predation and the competition. BioRestore aims to lower this threat for fish stocks by increasing the survival rate at this crucial life stage.
BioRestore intends to provide a tool in order to protect early stages of fish from damaged areas such as construction works or polluted locations. This tool could be used easily in different contexts to help the resilience of fish population towards human or natural issues resulting in lacks of nursery habitats for fish.
Uniqueness of the project: The process BioRestore is a unique and has been patented. It has several application domains including rewilding purposes, but also for aquaculture or the aquariology hobby.
Other activities: Research, Sale of sustainable products
Achievements
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: The aim for the future years is to extend the use of this tool to more locations in the world, being able to specifically target endangered species and to help to enhance the recruitment in these species populations.
Results so far: So far, thousands of fish have been restocked and the mortality rate in the farm is very low (between 5 and 10% during the whole breeding phase, regarding all the species) compared with the natural mortality rate (90-99%). Fifty different species have been captured and benefited from the program. Furthermore, another farm has been built and is actually working in Toulon.
Exchange
Inspirational value: As an effective response to the collapse of fish stocks, Ecocean proposes two complementary solutions which both have the same goal: to boost the recruitment and survival of fish: BioRestore® to increase fish population by restocking, and Biohut®, to bring back fish nursery function in places where it has been damaged by built infrastructures (ports, pipelines, seawalls…).
Experience you would like to share: We could share our experience about the process in order to target different species and to adapt to new contexts that differs from the Mediterranean. We have the experience of successfully capturing, breeding and restocking a lot of species.
Experience you would like to gain: We would like to gain experience about new species and new ecological context in order to improve and expand the process to new areas.
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