Cismar - Centro Ittiogenico Sperimentale Marino


The CISMAR belongs to the DEB (Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences) of the University of Tuscia (Viterbo, Italy) and is located in the Natural Reserve “Le Saline di Tarquinia”.

It was founded in 2008 for the conservation and management of coastal and transitional ecosystems and for the management of the marine biological resources through the study of the interplay between marine environment, fisheries and aquaculture

The CISMAR primary goals are the study, the evaluation and monitoring of marine biodiversity of coastal and transitional environments. Its main activity is focused on monitoring chemical and physical parameters of marine ecosystems, and the phenotypic and genetic characteristics of marine animals stocks, applying genetics and behavioural ecology to marine animal population management and fishing resources. In this respect, one main goal is the controlled reproduction of target species for restocking purposes.

The Centre works on integrated programs for the protection and conservation of coasts and marine ecosystems by carrying out activity of environmental management, particularly in the surrounding areas (Thyrrenian sea, coast between Civitavecchia and Monte Argentario) with an approach analysing ecological dynamics as well as population dynamics, and with focus on genetic aspects that may be useful to define management measurements for the conservation of endangered species.

The DECOS (Department of Ecology and Sustainable Economic Development), now DEB, was founded in March 2003. It is dedicated to the fields of ecology and sustainable development, being therefore multidisciplinary. It encourages the synergy and cross-fertilization between different disciplines stimulating the cooperation and teaming up between ecologists, biologists and economists in order to carry out innovative and multi-tasking research projects; it coordinates studies and research on environmental quality and its modifications, on economic sustainability and on the anthropogenic impact on the environment.

The Department has laboratories and facilities at the University Campus in Viterbo, in which research on genetics and population ecology, ecology of freshwater, histology, botanic, mycology, physics, microbiology, nutrition, immunology, meteorology and hydrogeology are carried out. In addition, it has laboratories and facilities in two other locations: the Laboratory of Experimental Oceanology and Marine Ecology, located at the harbour of Civitavecchia; the CISMAR, with the laboratories of environmental monitoring, molecular ecology, benthos monitoring, parassitology and ichthyopathology, the experimental hatchery and the section for production of phyto- and zooplankton

The CISMAR / DEB since several years works in collaboration with public institutions, also through EU funds (LIFE NATURE), with the goal of marine/coastal environments protection and conservation: 1) “Environmental restoring of the Natural Reserve of the Saline di Tarquinia” (LIFE02NAT/IT/8523),; 2) “Urgent actions for the biodiversity of the Central-Mediterranean Coast. Co.Me.Bi.S.” (LIFE06 NAT/IT/00050); 3) POSEIDONE, “Urgent actions for the conservation of poseidon prairies in Northern Latium (LIFE09NAT/IT/00176) to safeguard and restore some SCIs important for the conservation of the priority habitat 1120 “poseidon beds” (Montalto di Castro) by installation of 550 submarine artificial barriers to reduce illegal fishery.

Other projects with similat goals are “Action I.1.7: “ICZM experiment (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) in pilot areas” funded by Latium Region and the management plans of two SCIs in Montalto di Castro (IT6010019 “Pian dei Cangani” e IT6010018 “Litorale a NW delle foci del Fiora”)

The CISMAR has an experimental hatchery dedicated to marine species, which includes a section for the production of phyto- and zooplankton and four laboratories: microbiology for water monitoring, molecular ecology applied to marine parasites, benthos monitoring, molecular ecology and genetic applied to the study of biodiversity

Thanks to the joint action of these structures, it is possible to carry out restocking actions also “certifying” that the individuals involved in such restocking plans are genetically compatible with those in nature, having sufficient genetic resources and variability to guarantee their dispersion and long term survival and adaptation



Conservation of water ecosystems through management of biological resources, study and control of the interrelationships between marine, coastal and transitional environment and anthropic activities

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Investigation of the environmental conditions and fish resources, Experimentation, breeding and restocking actions of selected target species ...

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Analysis and reports on the status of local marine and coastal environments, Genetic research applied to management of fish stocks and fishing resources, Genetic and phenotypic analysis and characterization of fish stocks and spawners...

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