Scientific Research

The Aquarium of La Réunion is a partner of many scientific researches aiming at the discovery and a greater knowledge of the living aquatic world.
Better know to safeguard our ocean and its marine biodiversity.

Reunion is a volcano whose slopes sink into the sea to -4000 m. Large underwater collapses or old riverbeds make these slopes very steep in places, especially in the east and northwest of the island. Great depths are then accessible a few miles from the coast, which is rare in the world where the continents are generally extended by very wide continental shelves.

These great depths are little known. In 1983, the oceanography vessel Marion Dufresne carried out soundings and dredging there (MD32 campaign), but only rare data have been published. In 2010, ARVAM attempted to send traps over 1000 m with success, collecting a few rare or unknown specimens, but no data was released. The Réunion Aquarium also carried out very deep fishing trials in 2012, capturing species not yet listed in our waters, such as the famous shoe sharks which have enriched the collections of the Natural History Museum.

The scientific campaign (2022) OBJECTIF 1000 took advantage of this morphological opportunity to deepen the knowledge of these environments. The collection and study of samples of organisms beyond 1000 meters deep has led to many discoveries.

Photo credit: Patrick Durville

Mont La Pérouse, or Banc des 90 milles, is a huge volcanic mountain located 160 km off the coast of Reunion. Little known, frequented only by fishermen and isolated in the heart of the Indian Ocean, it keeps all its secrets.
A team of scientists, helped by Laurent Ballesta's divers, went there to explore its summit. The landscapes and discoveries of the fauna and flora of this seamount have aroused great interest.

© Patrick Durville
© Laurent Ballesta