ARVAM is a para public NGO agency located in RÇunion island. 5 scientists, who are also professional divers with pluridisciplinarity, are involved in ecological studies dealing mostly with coral reefs ecosystems of the Indian ocean.
Studies and monitoring refers to projects for protection and planning development of coastal areas through 2 interrelating sectoral (unit) missions. The Marine Toxicology unit is dealing mainly with ciguatera fish poisoning management and research in the Indian ocean. Ecological surveys are performed in RÇunion and Mayotte lagoons to understand the regional pattern of this marine phenomenon, linked to natural and human disturbances. Scientific networks are developed with french scientists and Smithsonian Institution (Washington) interested in Harmful Marine Blooms. Research investigations are performed in those collaborations in ecology and toxicology. Since 1992, ARVAM was in charge of technical assistance to a regional project of PRE-COI (Indian Ocean Commission) to implement a regional network in marine eco-toxicology (monitoring of toxic fishes and micro-algae from coral ecosystems). Global approaches were developed in RÇunion as part of the PRE-COI project.
The Marine Coastal Environment unit is dealing with both operational and organizational aspects of integrated coastal zone management (ICZM). Operational missions are often performed as environmental impacts assessments (EIA) : airport, harbors, sugar industries, sewage stations, especially in RÇunion and Mayotte coastal marine areas. Strategies of management of the coastal zone have been proposed, supported by an integrated approach of sensibility and vulnerability of aquatic ecosystems in RÇunion. Studies are actually performed for a coastal marine monitoring network in RÇunion, including coral reef (GCRMN-ICRI) and harmful algae blooms monitoring (UNESCO-HAB). Collection of data from both research and monitoring on coral reefs and associated ecosystems are compiled (slides, coral, micro-algae, culture lab) to purchase exhaustive databases.
Capacity building is offered by ARVAM to students and regional stakeholders through training on coral reef management and tropical marine eco-toxicology (natural contaminants).