ApoliMer Projects

SPA Project


SPA (« Savoir, Pouvoir, Avoir »), funded by the MITI of CNRS, explores the environmental impact assessment policy by combining the social science tools of politics, natural sciences and engineering to understand the advances and bottlenecks in terms of the sustainable management of coastal and marine social-ecological systems on three study sites :

The Bay of Brest : an unsustainable trajectory

The Bay of Brest is a coastal ecosystem  subject to different aspects of global change, i.e. eutrophication, arrival and proliferation of alien species. It is considered a relatively well-studied ecosystem, but major environmental problems persist, in particular the increasing magnitude and frequency of harmful algal blooms. These toxic phytoplankton blooms are recurrent in the bay, preventing the harvest of the Great scallop (Pecten maximus) and compelling the commercial shellfishing community to switch stocks, leading to bottom dredging on maerl beds, in spite of the many scientific alerts and the existing protection of this habitat. This situation is currently creating controversy, tensions and blockages that are not yet resolved despite strong and long-term interactions between scientists, fishermen and decision makers/managers.

The French southern territories : A hotspot for biodiversity conservation combined with exploitation

The objective of the National Nature Reserve of the French Southern Territories, created in 2006 and extended in 2016 to most of the French Exclusive Economic Zone over 600,000 km2 of ocean surface), is to reconcile the need to preserve biodiversity in these territories and the exploitation of natural resources (mostly fishing, e.g. Patagonian toothfish), scientific activities and tourism. These territories are uninhabited and human activites are mainly associated with scientific research projects. The Reserve Management Plan distinguishes between classic (fisheries activities allowed) and enhanced MPA zones (resource exploitation is not allowed and exceptional permits are required for scientists and tourists to access the zone).

The Saint Pierre and Miquelon Archipelago : rush on the sea cucumber

It is the most important geographical link between France and NorthAmerica and is maintained by the French State for geopolitical and economic reasons. Throughout its history, the archipelago has been characterized by its economic and cultural dependence on cod fishing, shipping and fuelling services. However, since the Canadian  cod moratorium in 1992, the end of the earlier economic and social model has undermined the identity of the territory. In 2016, a report conclued about the state of fishing in the waters of the Saint Pierre and Miquelon Archipelago that the socioeconomic sector of fisheries is far from realizing its potential for all targeted species. This is the case for benthic stocks of invertebrate species, including Cucumaria frondosa, a sea cucumber, a specific case of the newfishery plan which is intended to boost the economic activity of the archipelago. In fact, this species is very popular on the Asian market and despite the poor knowledge on the state of the stock and the potential negative impact of dredging, this plan is currently being promoted by decision-makers. This raises questions regarding the way fishing authorization decisions are taken, or how the extension of quotas is determined.

Project Poster

• Camille Mazé

Political Scientist, Senior Researcher, CNRS (LIENSs)

• Anatole Danto, PhD Student


• Clara Zeltner-Reig, Master Student

CNRS (CEBC), Bordeaux Université, Université libre de Bruxelles 

• Tristan Macadré, Master Student

Littoral management, CNRS (CEBC), IUEM

• Chloé Faure, Master Student

CNRS (LIENSs), AgroParisTech

• Léa Pertel-Jabaud, Master Student (Alumni)

Juridic section of the French Environmental Ministry

• Kristina Likhacheva, PhD Student


• Jules Danto, Master student

ENSA Agrocampus Ouest, Université de Nantes

• Paul Tixier

Marine ecology, Deakin University (Australia)


• Jennifer Coston-Guarini

Biogeochimist and ecologist, UMR LEMAR, LIA BeBEST

• Olivier Ragueneau

Biogeochemist, Research director, CNRS (LEMAR)


• Anne Choquet

Jurist, University lecturer and researcher, Brest business school

• Adrien Lambrechts

Ornithologist, Environmental engineer, Biotope

Project Publications

Nature Science Société, 26, 3, 328-337 (2018)

"Dealing with impact. An interdisciplinary, multi-site ethnography of
environmental impact assessment in the coastal zone"
To Article

Project Photos