Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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archeologyenvironmental protectionillegal fishingmarine lifesurveillance system


Method and system for monitoring and protecting the marine ecosystem and archeological sites, which can be of great assistance in the fight against illegal fishing, especially in tackling overfishing and illegal fishing of sea dates. The invention can be used to monitor and identify illegal excavation activities (chiselling and hammering) of the immersed rocky coast, carried out to extract the bivalve molluscs Litophaga lithofaga (known as sea dates and currently protected by European and national regulations) and to collect objects of archaeological interest.

Technical features

Method and a system for environmental monitoring which allows detecting through a passive sensor the occurrence of particular situations in which damage has been caused to the monitored marine coastal environment, such as for example illegal fishing for date mussels or unauthorized excavation in archaeological sites. The monitoring system includes:

  • A terrestrial seismic sensor (geophone) installed near the area to be protected;
  • An electronic control system;
  • A data transmission system via GSM network.

The idea behind the present invention is to provide a method for environmental monitoring, in which a mechanical vibration is detected in the environment and an alarm signal dependent on the mechanical vibration is generated and transmitted via radio to a remote monitoring center. The mechanical vibration detected is the vibration produced by chiselling or hammering and picked up by the geophones.

Possible Applications

An integrated protection system for both archaeological and coastal areas from:

  •  Detection of illegal fishing predating on for date mussels (Lithophaga lithophaga);
  • Damage to rocky coasts and to port structures and / or breakwaters;
  • Acts of vandalism in protected marine areas;
  • Acts of vandalism in archaeological areas.


  • A completely passive system with no impact on the marine environment;
  • Remote surveillance without the need for the presence of human operators on site;
  • Low production cost thanks to the use of components;
  • Possibility of operation H24 night / day and regardless of weather conditions.