Marine protected areas: current issues and challenges

Marine Protected Areas Tile

Interdisciplinary summer school organized by the Institute of Ocean Sciences

Dates : June 27, 2022 to July 1, 2022

Open to : Master & PhD students, Professionals

Fees : free for students registered at Aix-Marseille University and CIVIS universities, 200€ for other participants.

Location : Marseille, Luminy campus, OCEANOMED building

Language : Most of the courses will be given in French, some lectures will be in English (B level of understanding in French and English required)

ECTS : 3  & 35 teaching hours - Evaluation : Daily CQM exams

Highlights : 2 excursions to the Calanques National Park - boat trip - 1 practical session on plastic pollution monitoring methods, lectures by eminent experts.

A transversal approach to the current issues and challenges related to the conservation and management of marine protected areas :

  • Interdisciplinarity: marine biology, law, geography, marine ecology, economics, paleoceanography, sociology, biogeochemistry, history,
  • Varied program: field trips, classroom teaching, experiments, lectures
  • Expert and diverse interlocutors: a summer school that relies on partnerships and privileged relationships between teacher-researchers and actors from the socio-economic world

Topics covered

Day 1: General presentation of the marine protected area and issues related to MPAs (field trip).
Day 2: Vulnerabilities, risks and pressures in a context of climate change.
Day 3: Management of fisheries resources.
Day 4: Marine pollution - management of plastic contamination.
Day 5: Challenges for MPA management, from local to international level (output).


Cadoret Anne, Associate Professor, UMR CNRS 7303, TELEMMe, Aix-Marseille University,
Pascale Ricard, CNRS Research Fellow, UMR DICE, (CERIC), Aix-Marseille University,
Kalliopi Pediaditi, PhD, Ocean Sciences Institute, Aix-Marseille University.

The summer school is designed to provide a theoretical and practical background on the theme of marine protected areas. Lecturers include distinguished scientists as well as professionals involved in marine protected area management. Two field trips are planned in the Calanques National Park, one by boat (day 1) and one on foot ( day 5).

Main topics addressed

  • General presentation on marine protected areas.
  • Vulnerabilities, risks and pressures in the context of climate change.
  • Management of fisheries resources.
  • Marine pollution - managing plastic contamination.
  • Challenges for the management of a marine protected area from the local to the international level.

Learning outcomes

  • To understand and relate the fundamentals of different disciplines around a common object: the marine protected area.
  • To understand the complexity of management decisions and the plurality of methods, measures and interconnections concerning the management of marine protected areas.
  • Understand the variety of stakeholders and the different scales of research and governance involved in marine protected areas.
  • Adapt and actively participate in a variety of activities.
  • Work in interdisciplinary teams.


The fight against the loss of biodiversity, in the context of the sixth mass extinction, has helped shape international and national strategies for the protection and management of coastal and marine ecosystems. Marine protected areas are one of the privileged public policy conservation mechanisms that have resulted from this, and their number has increased considerably in recent decades. According to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined within the framework of the United Nations, States must effectively protect at least 10% of their marine and coastal areas, and this objective should increase to 30% after the next "COP" of the Convention on Biological Diversity to be held this summer in China.

However, the achievement of targets to combat biodiversity loss depends on their effectiveness, understood as their ability to carry out conservation actions that are beneficial to the restoration or maintenance of ecosystems and to be sustained over time. Too many marine protected areas are considered as "paper" protected areas, with no effective management framework. Taking into account ecological, biological, but also legal, socio-economic, cultural and political aspects are then necessary to ensure the management of MPAs.

This summer school aims to provide interdisciplinary knowledge on MPAs and the challenges of their management, through a case study: the Calanques National Park, at the interface between land and sea and city and nature.

The Calanques National Park, established in 2012, is a world-renowned marine protected area, covering a land and sea area with for the sea part more than 141,200 hectares (of which 30% in reinforced protection zones corresponding to the "national park hearts"). The park is characterized by spectacular landscapes inherited from a geological history and shaped by ancient human activities, it is home to a diversity of marine ecosystems, a rich cultural and intangible heritage, and many professional and recreational uses. This territory, contiguous to one of the largest metropolises in France, is also subject to anthropic pressures and environmental risks in evolution.

The Calanques National Park will be the entry point to evoke the current challenges of MPAs, the vulnerability of ecosystems, the management of fisheries resources, marine pollution, coastal erosion, climate change, social acceptance, as well as the technical, political and legislative tools and mechanisms, at the national, regional and international levels. These elements will be discussed during field trips, in class or during lectures by researchers and teacher-researchers from Aix Marseille University, actors from the socio-economic world of the metropolitan area and international experts specialized in the above-mentioned fields.

The courses and lectures will enable students (Masters and doctoral students) and those involved in biodiversity conservation (managers of natural areas) to understand the long-term and day-to-day issues involved in managing an MPA, taking into account several time scales: geological, ecological, historical, legal and political time, in a socio-ecosystemic approach.

The lectures and interventions in the classroom and in the field will also allow students to navigate between scalar levels: from the habitat of a micro-organism to the landscape to the Mediterranean, to the flows and movements of the planet, to the more territorial and local dynamics that influence current and future conservation measures.

The program of this summer school is built in such a way as to bring knowledge on a particular focus each day through conferences-discussions led by scientists from different disciplines and institutional and socio-economic speakers. Two field trips are planned, one of which will be at sea on the first day, allowing to create proximity between students and to better situate the challenges of managing a marine area by contextualizing them.

Summer school program

Day 1
27th of  june

Day 2
Tuesday 28 of June

Day 3
Wednesday 29th of june

Day  4
Thursday 30th of June

Day 5
Friday 1st of July


Exploring the Calanques National Park & MPA related issues

Vulnerabilities, risks and pressures in a climate change context

Fishery Resources Management

Marine pollution: managing plastic contamination

 MPA management challenges, from local to international perspectives


Boat field trip
8:30 am at the Vieux-Port, Marseille and return to the Vieux-Port at 3pm

Anne Cadoret, MCF in Geography-Planning,
Marine protected areas: public action mechanisms for biodiversity conservation

Jean-Eudes Beuret, Prof in Economics,
The governance of an MPA: the case of Natura 2000 at sea: the challenges of an inclusive and constructive governance


10 am: François Sabatier, MCF in Geography-Planning,
Coastal Erosion Processes


9 am: Sophie Gambardella, CR CNRS en Law,
The role of regional fisheries management organizations in the management and conservation of fisheries resources in the Mediterranean

10:30 am: Sandrine Ruitton, MCF in Marine Ecology,
MPAs and the reserve effect.

The challenges of lost fishing gear


9am: Marie-Pierre Lanfranchi, Prof. in Law,
The Barcelona system and the fight against marine pollution in the Mediterranean

10:30 am: Ève Truilhé, DR CNRS in Law, The fight against plastic pollution: which European and French legal framework?

Field Trip
RDV 8:30 am at the bus stop Madrague de Montredon, Marseille.

Xavier Daumalin, Pr. en Histoire, Invisibilization, new uses and stakes of the industrial remains of the creeks of Marseille

Julien Tavernier,  in charge of nautical activities, Calanques National Park

Anne Cadoret, MCF in Geography-Planning,
The territorialization of MPAs with regard to conflictuality: role and stakes of conflicts in the implementation of MPAs


Julie Guéry, Project Manager,
« Natural Areas » of the city of Marseille,
Management of Marseilles marine & island environments in Prado Bay

Sandrine Ruitton, MCF in Marine Ecology, Anthropic impacts on marine ecosystems. Should we manage, protect or restore?  Faut-il gérer, protéger ou restaurer ?The case of Prado artificial reefs.

2 pm: Charles-François Boudouresque, Prof. Emeritus, Marine Biology, Invasive species do not respect the boundaries of Marine Protected Areas

The seagrass Posidonia oceanica, the iconic engineer of a threatened ecosystem

4:30 pm: Samuel Robert, DR CNRS in Géography,
The recreational use of coastal and marine protected areas: Characterisation, monitoring and management

2 pm: Philippe Billet, Prof in Law :
The governance of a national park, between police and consultation.

3 pm: Laurence Le Diréach, GIS POSIDONIE, Monitoring of fish in No-take Zones

4 pm: Boukhenifra Jamal, fisherman, 1er Prud’homme,
Small-scale fishing in protected areas

2 pm: Laurence Vidal, Prof. in Environmental Geosciences Laetitia Licari, Dr in Environmental Geosciences
Anaëlle Alcaïno, PhD student in Environmental Geosciences
Michael Grelaud, Environmental Geoscientist
Mel Constant, Environmental Geoscientist

Practical Experimentation
Characterization and distribution of microplastics in the Mediterranean: the case of the bay of Marseille

2 pm: Pascale Ricard, CR CNRS,Law : current challenges related to the creation of MPAs on an international scale

3 pm: Sébastien Gadal, Prof. in Geography-geomatics & spatial analysis: Local cultures, regional environmental interests. Role and challenges of MPAs

Evening Open Events & Lectures

Endoume Marine Station
6 pm

Richard Semperé, Ocean Sciences Institute, presentation of the Ocean Sciences Institute

Reda Neveu, chargé de mission MedPAN,
Le réseau de gestionnaires d’aires marines protégées méditerranéennes

6 pm

Laure Verneyre, Delegate Director for the Mediterranean coastal zone, Interregional Directorate PACA-Corse, OFB & Hélène Souan, Head of Department, Biodiversity, Water, Landscape Department, DREAL
What is the coherence between national and regional strategies for marine protected areas?

6 pm

Laurent Debas, Director if Planète mer NGO & Audrey Lepetit, Project Manager ,
The role of participatory sciences for the protection and presentation of the project "Pêcheurs Engagés pour l'Avenir de la MEDiterranée"

5 pm

Patrick Christie, Pr. of Sociology, Washington University,  Interdisciplinarity in Océan Sciences & knowledge networks

Endoume Marine Station
5:30 pm

Nikoleta Jones, Ass. Pr. of Economy, Warwick University,
Social impacts of protected areas in Europe

Patrick Christie, Pr. of Sociology, Washington University,
Environmental justice and protected areas

Presentations of Ocean Sciences Institute funded internship research results

Academic Speakers

To learn more about the many academic speakers who will be taking part in the summer school, visit this page.

Inscription procedure

Inscription to the summer school is in 2 phases :

  • Phase 1 : Preinscription  ( deadline 23th May)

To prescribe you need to complete and submit the  following form. Following the selection jury successful candidates will be notified by the 26th of May and invited to complete the Phase 2 faculty inscription.

  • Phase 2 : Faculty inscription

Faculty inscription is mandatory and will enable you to obtain upon successful completion of the summer school 3 ECTS.

Phase 2 Inscription for students requires a letter of recommendation by the Master programme responsible or thesis supervisor.  To complete Phase 2 inscription professionals need to make the payment of inscription fees.

Inscription fees

The summer school is :

  • free for AMU and CIVIS students
  • 200 euros for professionals

The inscription fees for professionals cover the cost of the boat trip and field trip transportation to the national park as well as material for the practical courses.

Packed lunches will be provided during the 2 field trips. Payment instructions will be provided in Phase 2 of the inscription via email following confirmation of your selection.

Food, Accomodation, and transportation are not included in the fees and should be organised by the participants.

Practical Information

Where is the summer school ?

The summer school will be based in the OCEANOMED building at Luminy Campus.

Field trips

The summer school uses the national Park of Calanques as an application case study of the different interdisciplinary approaches and challenges in Marine Protected Area Management. Therefore 2 field trips are organised.
The first day of the summer school includes a boat trip
The 5th day of the summer school includes a site visit of one of the most popular calanques.

What to bring

Comfortable walking shoes, hat and sun protection for field trips are advised.

Evening lectures and social events

In addition to the teaching programme, each evening are proposed open to the public lectures by distinguished experts in the field or social events. More detailed information will be communicated upon inscription.

Accommodation & Transport

The summer school does not provide for accommodation nor transport for useful information on accommodation. Please consult the Housing - International Students section of the Aix-Marseille University website.

How to Get to Marseille
  • By plane

Marseille Provence airport (MRS) is the main airport in the Marseille region and it is located 27 km northwest of Marseille, on the territory of Marignane.

Transport from Marseille Airport to the city center :

The cheapest and easiest way to get to Marseille city center from the airport is by bus. The Airport shuttle bus takes 30 minutes to reach the Saint Charles train station in Marseille. You can read “Navette Aeroport-Gare St Charles” on the buses. Tickets cost 10€ one-way (or 16€ return). You can purchase your tickets at the transport kiosk in the arrivals hall or at one of the many automatic ticket machines located around the arrivals terminal.

The airport shuttle bus leaves from Terminal 1 (MP1). You can find the bus waiting at platform 2 between Hall 1 and 3. Be aware that each shuttle has a different route, so make sure you are getting on the correct one.
Fares and schedules can be found here.

  • By train

Marseille’s main station is the Gare Saint Charles and is located on the east side of the city at walking distance of the city center (10 min). Being the main station most trains arrive and depart from that station.

  • By bus

The Saint Charles Marseille bus station (Marseille Gare routière Saint Charles) is centrally located, walking distance to the city center is 10 minutes. The train station (Gare Saint-Charles) is located next door.
The bus station is served by international Eurolines buses as well as regional bus lines. Intercity connections include more than 20 cities in France (Paris, Toulouse, Lyon…) and international bus connections to Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza…), Italy (Rome, Milan, Genoa…), Portugal (Lisbon, Porto, Braga…) and 8 more European countries.

How to get to Luminy Campus

From Marseille old harbour area (Vieux Port)

  • Go to metro station “Noailles”
  • Take the line 2 “Gèze – Sainte-Marguerite Dromel” (red line), direction Sainte Marguerite Dromel
  • Get off at Stade Vélodrome/Rond Point du Prado
  • Take the bus B1 “Castellane – Campus de Luminy” or 21 JET “Métro Rond Point du Prado – Campus de Luminy”
  • “Campus de Luminy” is the final stop
  • Follow the signs to MIO OCEANOMED building
  • Time of journey: 40 min. (aprox.)

From the train station (Gare Saint Charles)

  • Go to metro station “Saint-Charles Marseille”
  • Take the line 2 “Gèze – Sainte-Marguerite Dromel” (red line), direction Sainte Marguerite Dromel
  • Get off at Stade Vélodrome/Rond Point du Prado
  • Take the bus B1 “Castellane – Campus de Luminy” or 21 JET “Métro Rond Point du Prado – Campus de Luminy”
  • “Campus de Luminy” is the final stop
  • Follow the signs to MIO - OCEANOMED building
  • Time of journey: 40 min. (aprox.)

From Rond Point du Prado/Stade Vélodrome

  • Take the bus B1 “Castellane – Campus de Luminy” or 21 JET “Métro Rond Point du Prado – Campus de Luminy”
  • “Campus de Luminy” is the final stop
  • Follow the signs to MIO - OCEANOMED building
  • Time of journey: 25 min. (aprox.)
Contact information

Kalliopi Pediaditi - Project Manager of the Institute of Ocean Sciences AMU - (OCEAN)

Richard Sempéré - Director of the Institute of Ocean Sciences AMU - (OCEAN)

Marine protected area
Socio-ecosystem approach
Anthropic pressures
conservation policies Management