The collaboration between the French UNDER THE POLE and the Archipelagos Institute revealed for the first time high resolution imagery of the coralligenous ecosystems of international environmental importance that still survive in the deep waters of the Fourni island complex. This research required over 120 difficult dives by eight deep-sea divers from Under the Pole specialised in scientific diving, at depths of up to 100 metres, with a long decompression time of 3.30 – 4 hours underwater.

In the great effort to bring awareness to and protect these unknown but important ecosystems, close cooperation with the local community is a key prerequisite. After all, it is the island’s coastal fishermen who gave to Archipelagos the first indications of the areas where coralligenous habitats are found, and they are actively involved in all stages of this great effort together with the island’s municipal authorities.

The Fourni complex is a site of global environmental importance, as coralligenous habitats with such high biodiversity and good ecological status in such a large area, are extremely rare in the Mediterranean.