Site details

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5 stars - Fully protected as a national park or Natura 2000 site by national legislation
LTBR Focal Site

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Kelp forest (Laminaria hyperborea) Photo: NIVA

Synoptic description of site:

Site including a fisheries reserve (85 ha) adjacent to the coast, bottom gently slopping (0-30m), with various anti-trawling and productive artificial reefs, protected from human activities, including fishing and diving.

Extensive description of site:

Carry-le-Rouet fisheries reserve (85 ha) is part of the “Côte Bleue” Marine Park, Gulf of Marseilles, France, a managed zone along a rocky, moderately urbanised, coast. The protected area, adjacent to the shore, includes rocky and sandy bottoms gently slopping from 0 to 30-40 m depth.

Habitats present:
Sublittoral XX
Seagrass bedsX

Description of fauna and flora:

The area houses large seagrass beds (Posidonia oceanica) mixed with low, heterogeneous, rocks and, to a lesser extent, shallow and deeper sandy communities. There is a rich fish fauna including vulnerable species such as the dusky grouper (Epinephelus marginatus) and the brown meagre (Sciaena umbra), and a typical rocky sessile fauna, including gorgonians and precious red coral (Corallium rubrum).

Human impact:

The no-take area has been strictly protected since 1987 and is physically protected by anti-trawling artificial reefs deployed at its periphery. Diving is forbidden. The area can be subjected to low levels of pollution from nearby Marseilles city (population 850,000) and sporadic runoff of the Rhône river. Natura 2000 habitat.


Diving for marine biodiversity research is possible with the Park staff. Snorkelling is possible freely from the shore. Larger research vessels, fully equipped laboratory and library are available at the Centre d’Océanologie de Marseille.

Available database and website:

A fish inventory is available at the Park. Website:


Commitment and ongoing research:

The Centre d’Océanologie de Marseille and the GIS Posidonie undertake biodiversity-related research in the area.

Additional Information:

Examples of references available: Harmelin J.G., Bachet F., 1994. Ichtyofaune des fonds rocheux de Carry-le-Rouet : Impact de la protection. Suivi des assemblages de poissons dans la réserve et à l'extérieur de celle-ci (printemps 1990-printemps 1993). Rapport COM-PRMCB (CR PACA), 32 pp. Harmelin J.G., Bachet F., Garcia F., 1995. Mediterranean marine reserves: fish indices as tests of protection efficiency. P.S.Z.I: Marine Ecology, 16 (3): 233-250.