Representatives of U-Boat Malta Ltd had paid a visit to Rome and Catania last week in order to sum up the important points in negotiations and sign the MoU agreement with the University of Lazio.
Another important task of the delegation was the finalization of the MoU agreement with the University of Messina that is targeted on collaboration in the field of coastal and underwater biology and archaeology for the period of 5 years.
During the meeting, the number of research projects was approved. The main aim of the projects is to achieve scientific studies of chosen areas of interest for the identification of biological and cultural heritage sites for the benefit of the scientific community as well as of the general public.
The main discussed projects for collaboration included: the research on the deep sea six-gill sharks and the identification and study of shipwrecks around the island of Ponza.
The University of Messina has been studying the sharks for several years, and this collaboration will give more opportunities to this research.
The six-gill shark is a prehistoric species that normally lives at 1000 m depth. It comes to shallow waters with the first south-north current. In the Mediterranean, the only place to research the great Sixgill shark is the Messina Strait.
Survey areas underwater will be conducted using latest research equipment including a digital side scan sonar. All hardware necessary for the surveys will be supplied by Pedestal Foundation, in collaboration and assistance with U-Boat Malta Limited.
The trip was a success: the main aims were achieved, valid points discussed and yet U-Boat Malta starts the mutually beneficial collaboration with the University of Messina leading to the new interesting projects and research.
The historical shipwrecks identification projects will incorporate a number of objects that can be geographically divided into two main areas: The island of Ponzo and Messina Straits.
The main aims of Island of Ponza project are:
1) To gather data of the six ancient shipwrecks situated in deep waters off Ponza and Zannone Islands. Data will be utilized for the creation of photomosaics, video evidence and 3D video footage.
2) To recover choice objects from the aforementioned shipwrecks (objects are to be recovered as per instructions issued by Italian authorities.
3) To execute a search survey between the Scolio Della Botte and Ponza Island using submarine and sonar technology.
The main aims of the Messina Straits project are:
1) To gather data of the 2 ancient shipwrecks situated in deep waters off the Messina Straits. Data will be utilized for the creation of photomosaics, video evidence and 3D video footage.
2) To explore deepwater shipwrecks (as yet not identified) off the Messina Straits.
3) To recover choice objects from the aforementioned shipwrecks (objects are to be recovered as per instructions issued by Italian authorities).
4) To execute a search survey between Sicily and Italy (across Messina Straits) using submarine and sonar technology.
5) To locate and film sharks of Messina Straits.
6) To film and record marine life of selected areas of Messina Straits.