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Banca March and the Fundación Oceanogràfic launch an app to protect posidonia meadows in the Marina Alta region

03 August 2022 Category: Sustainability

Mediterranean Fund is a themed, socially responsible fund by March Asset Management, which donates 10% of its management fees to seabed conservation projects.

  • “Projecte Posidònia”, or The Posidonia Project, will help sailors in Marina Alta to anchor responsibly, protecting one of planet's most endangered ecosystems.
  • The app uses geolocation and features a map of the areas with the highest nautical and recreational activity in the Region of Valencia, as well as a checklist of ten environmental best practices
  • The project is funded by Banca March's themed, socially responsible Mediterranean Fund, which invests in two high-potential trends: the ocean economy and water.

The Oceanogràfic Foundation, Mediterranean Fund – a themed, socially responsible fund managed by the Banca March Group's asset manager March Asset Management – and Valencia City of Arts and Sciences joined forces to launch the mobile app Projecte Posidònia in Xàbia this morning. The app will offer sailors information on the locations of posidonia meadows on the coast of Marina Alta, allowing them to anchor responsibly and prevent damage to this increasingly endangered seagrass.

The app features a detailed mapping of the posidonia oceanica meadows on the seabeds in Dénia, Xàbia, Poble Nou de Benitaxell, Teulada-Moraira, Benissa and Calp; these sites are protected under the Red Natura 2000 initiative and are of paramount importance for biodiversity in the Mediterranean.

The app uses geolocation technology, so when a boat enters an area featuring posidonia meadows, the user will receive a notification on their phone warning them that anchoring is not permitted in the area.

The new platform is intended as an ally to sustainable tourism in Marina Alta and will allow sailors to consult seabed mapping in situ, to avoid uncontrolled anchoring or any other interaction that could harm the native posidonia oceanica meadows.

A 50 km coastal map and a guide to best practices

The app identifies the different types of sea beds across over 50 km and 9,500 hectares in one of the busiest sailing and marine recreation areas in the region of Valencia.

To enable this function, the app combines various different applied cartography technologies, performed using side-scan sonar technology and videography. This high-precision tool delivers digital images of the different types of sea bed to identify the exact location of posidonia oceanica meadows. It also differentiates between the various other local underwater habitats, including cymodocea nodosa meadows, which, along with posidonia, is one of the two most highly-protected species of flowering seagrasses in the region.

The Projecte Posidònia app also includes a news section called “Ocean wiki”, which features key information on underwater meadows and the related regulations in Europe, Spain and the region of Valencia, as well as a guide to best practices for their protection.

Free to download and available for IOS and Android

The new mobile app is available for IOS and Android devices and is completely free to download and to use.

Part of a broader project to protect the region's rich posidonia meadows

The app is part of a broader project to protect the sea beds along the Marina Alta coastline, the Projecte Posidònia, presented back in April at the Oceanogràfic de València by the Oceanogràfic Foundation and Valencia's City of Arts and Sciences, and financed by Mediterranean Fund, a themed, socially responsible fund managed by the Banca March Group's asset manager, March Asset Management.

This two-year project comprises a technical, scientific phase – cartography and app development – and a communication phase to convey the importance of the ecosystem to schools and population groups in local towns.

Mediterranean Fund: investing in ocean health

Mediterranean Fund is a themed, socially responsible fund by March Asset Management, the Banca March Group's asset manager, which donates 10% of its management fees to seabed conservation projects and complies with SFDR Article 8, promoting social and environmental initiatives as well as pursuing traditional financial targets.

Mediterranean Fund invests in two high-potential trends linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030: the oceans as a source of wealth and the need for their conservation, and water as a scarce resource which is indispensable for life on our planet. The fund's investment universe comprises over 750 companies and it has attracted an impressive rate of inflows since inception. At year-end 2021, the investment fund had assets under management of €136 million and had gained 26.56% (Euro Class A). Since its launch in September 2019, it has posted a return of 49.6%.

The fund's portfolio currently comprises 48 companies, diversified across 20 different sectors and 15 different countries. The portfolio includes companies operating in off-shore wind power, marine biotechnology and aquaculture, as well as biofuel producers to support the decarbonisation of maritime transport.

At the launch event, Íñigo Colomo, equity manager at March AM and manager of the Mediterranean Fund, said: “At Banca March, we are particularly aware of the importance of protecting posidonia meadows, which are one of the greatest assets of the Mediterranean. The app we are launching today is hugely important, as it will allow users to enjoy navigating the waters of Marina Alta in a completely responsible way. This is exactly what the Mediterranean Fund was designed for: to offer a compelling opportunity for investors which simultaneously allows them to help protect the wealth and diversity of our seas and oceans.”

The app was launched this morning at the Xàbia Nautical Club's Sports School and was attended by the Regional President of Valencia, Ximo Puig; the Regional Minister for Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition, Mireia Mollà; the Managing Director of the Oceanogràfic Foundation, Leocadia García Bartual; the Director of the “Projecte Posidònia”, Francisco Torner; Mediterranean Fund manager Íñigo Colomo; Xàbia Mayor José Chulvi, and the municipal representatives of Dénia, Teulada-Moraira, Calp, Benissa and Benitatxell.

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