The brown meagre is an emblematic species considered as a bioindicator of the state of coastal habitats. Very popular with consumers, the brown meagre is overexploited and is now listed as a threatened species on the IUCN red list. Some Mediterranean countries, such as France, have been protecting it for some years. But knowledge about the species’ distribution and breeding sites on a large scale and over time is incomplete.

In 2018, the Chorus research institute was awarded a small MedPAN project funding to develop a methodology for monitoring the brown meagre using passive acoustics. A guide was produced for MPA managers and is now available in French and English.

This guide is addressed to all managers interested in the use of passive acoustics to monitor vulnerable fish species such as the brown meagre. The main objective of this guide is to give all the necessary elements to help managers in the decision-making process to set up a passive acoustic monitoring programme. The guide presents a standardised and replicable method for monitoring brown meagres using passive acoustics methods. It presents examples from French marine protected areas and shows its contribution to monitoring and management actions.

Eco-acoustics is a technique that exploits environmental sounds as attributes of ecosystems that can reveal ecological processes. It is still considered an emerging discipline but has been developing in recent years. The use of passive acoustics for the management and conservation of vulnerable fish species, such as the brown meagre, is part of this international movement. The originality of the approach presented in this guide lies in the collective effort between managers of different MPAs and eco-acousticians to set up R&D work that has made it possible to consolidate the interest of passive acoustics monitoring for monitoring the brown meagre and to propose an operational protocol to assist environmental managers interested in applying this non-invasive method.