Curious to know what we're up to? Read all about it in our blog! 

A creative collaboration

20th of august 2019

Meet the artists behind the collage for the recently launched PhotoCollab, the first in a series of community led projects that involve the community in the protection of the marine protected area Sa Dragonera.

Emma Glinski is a young artist who has spent her childhood in Andratx and has considered it her home since her early years. When finishing school in Mallorca, she left for London to study Fine Arts before returning to the island. Emma loves to hike in the south west parts of the island overlooking Sa Dragonera, and to this day still believes it is one of the most outstanding places of natural beauty. She often finds a spot to sketch or paint landscapes.

About her collaboration with the PhotoCollab Emma says: “I am really grateful to take part in this project. It feels good to contribute creatively to something meaningful and environmentally focused, even more so due to my personal connexion with this particular area.” 

Emma Glinski explores concepts of time in relation to geological age, metamorphosis, decay and impermanence. She treats time in a physical way, employing it as a material in itself and exploring it’s structure through disciplines such as mindfulness and repetition. These processes are of equal importance to her enquiry as the finished article. She uses natural materials as they are the very embodiment of change, and that everything surrounding us can be seen to raise and decay.

“Time’s inescapability is something that we all, as living beings of this world, share in common. It is life’s raw struggle against death, however, there is a rare beauty in the angst that surrounds our hope to live on after our last breath.  I like to refer to time as experiential or phenomenological time, where we and our productions only ever exist ‘in the time-being’ ,and yet we also make, through our acts, this time we are in. Thus, we are essentially time-beings; meaning the very fabric and nature of what we are IS time, and we can never exist outside of the present!  Accordingly, the only fundamental truth in the universe is that everything changes. Everything is subject to impermanence. You are not the same person as you were 10 years ago, 10 minutes ago... or even 10 seconds ago as you began to read this. Each moment in the flow of being is time unfolding. This kind of time is not illusory; it is the fundamental actuality of our existence. “

A creative collaboration

Yin-Yang by Pejac

Save The Med Foundation is honoured to have been chosen as the selected NGO for a fundraiser organised as a collaboration between the fantastic artist Pejac, Suben Art Management and AvantArte. 

Through his thought provoking artwork portrayed in unexpected places, Pejac portrays the conflicting human relationship with nature, reminding us of how easily we forget our interconnectedness with and dependency on it. 

While highlighting some of the most pressing environmental issues that we are currently facing, Pejac impresses not only with the level of care and thoughtfulness that he puts in every detail of each piece of art, but also with his generosity and support of environmental work. 

Pejac dedicated ten hand-embellished impressions of his most recent limited edition Yin-Yang to a fundraiser for Save The Med Foundation, donating 75% of the profits towards Mediterranean marine regeneration.

Yin-Yang, puts the focus on one of his closest and most recurring themes - global warming and climate change. Taking the archetypal image of an Inuit man fishing through a hole in thick ice as an example of the fragility of the environment but also the adaptability of humans, Pejac composed a worrying "before and after" storyline with this striking work. By reversing the image's content and placing the subject on a solitary block of ice floating on water, he managed to sum up the extent of the crisis that humanity is facing, transforming the relationship between the key elements into the structure of a universally recognised symbol for eternal balance.

On July 2nd, the ten hand-embellished impressions, which were pre-released via sold out in seconds. The following day,  the regular edition's 90 examples of the diptych sold out in under a minute through

A heartfelt Thank You on behalf of the whole STM - team to Pejac, Suben Art Management and Avante Art for  your trust and generous support.  

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Night of San Juan #zerowaste

30th of June 2019

The 23/6, following months of campaigning for environmentally responsible habits during this hugely popular yet highly polluting event, we celebrated a waste free Night of Sant Joan in Portixol for the 4th year in a row together with Es Racó de Ses Idees. 

Around 35 amazing volunteers came to help, organise all kinds of workshops, activities for children, beach cleans and games for the participants and beach visitors. The campaign encouraged using reusable bags, tupperware, cups and utensils instead of throw away items. Reusable cups and portable ashtrays were also made available on site for anyone who needed them.  Balloons and lanterns that usually end up harming the environment were discouraged and instead, reusable decorations workshops were offered. 

As the sun set, candles were lit as friends and families gathered in the dark and the atmosphere was amazing. When the team packed up towards midnight, there were plenty of people left, and to our relief very little rubbish. 

A few days later, the results were in: On all the beaches of Palma, a total of 27 tonnes of rubbish were collected the morning after the event. While this is a big number that needs reducing further, it's reflects a positive trend. In 2016, when the first #zero waste event took place, that number was 49.7 tonnes. This means an almost 50% reduction in three years, reflecting growing awareness about the impacts of single use plastics in the environment. 

With Night of San Juan over, many other celebrations await us all. Join us in turning all of them into #zerowaste events and throwing away our throw-away culture once and for all! 

Night of San Juan #zerowaste

More plastic than fish

19th of June 2019

Unfortunately, during this years’ expedition we have seen more plastic pollution than marine animals at sea. All of it poses serious threats to marine life through ingestion and entanglement. 

Plastic pollution surveys conducted onboard include the sampling of microplastic at sea surface with a Manta Trawl as well as surveying for macroplastic and lost fishing gear. 

While open sea clean up efforts have shown to be inefficient, the data obtained can help model the source and fate of plastic pollution in the marine environment. This enables the identification of aggregation hotspots and allows clean up efforts to be focused on these aggregation sites, making them more efficient. 

That said, to achieve lasting effects, the main focus must always be on the reduction of waste generation and pollution prevention. This is particularly important since plastic is a material that lacks real end life solutions: most of it can’t be recycled and even that which can looses quality during the process and can only be recycled a limited amount of times before it can no longer be used.

The huge amounts of plastic that ends up in the environment each year require long term soultions: we need to reduce plastic at the level of production and consumption as to generate less waste overall, and move away from our throw away culture and to materials that have working end life solutions and retournable systems which allow for honest and circular recovery and continuous reuse of the products we use. 

More plastic than fish

Cutting edge science

15th of June 2019

After two weeks at sea we are back on land and finally have proper internet connection to update you all on the happenings! So over the next period we’ll be posting our delayed summaries of the events at sea!

This years’ expedition was very challenging due to the rough weather conditions and unreliable forecasts. Wind, rain, swell and white caps made it difficult to spot and document wildlife.

Despite of this, we had some amazing days during which we could collect crucial data on Rissos’ dolphins and Loggerhead turtles as well as observe Bottlenose dolphins and Striped dolphins.

We managed to tag this beautiful loggerhead turtle, named Anna after one of the very devoted volunteers on board. By tracking turtle Anna and other marine species via satellite tracking they funcion as “animal oceanographers” that allow us to see where and at what depths they move, follow their migration route and see in which temperatures and in which areas they spend most of their time. We can then compare this information to the existing information in the AIS system about marine traffic routes and see where the highest collision risks exist. 

This data has enabled the researcher to collaborate with governments around the Mediterranean to change marine traffic routes and/or maximum allowed speeds in areas where fragile marine species are commonly found. 

Furthermore, the Alnitak - Conservation in Action and Save The Med teams got a chance to work together, get to know each other better, exchange extremely interesting and valuable knowledge and skills, and we got to practice new cutting edge research and documentation technology together.

Baba Dioum once said that “In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught."

Our Boxfish 360º camera provides an exciting opportunity to combine advanced camera technology with education and outreach programmes for children and adults alike. By bringing the magic of the seas to the community through an immersive experience we can bridge the gap between science and local communities in engaging ways. After all, scientific data only becomes impactful when we understand it, value it and take actions for a positive change based on it.  

With the use of ROV - technology (Remote Operating Vehicle) we are able to explore and film marine life and underwater structures down to 100m of depth during both day and night. This allows us to collect information about bottom sediments and get close to species that are otherwise human shy. Furthermore, it allows us to this safely and from the boat/land, with minimal resources and risks for divers!

Cutting edge science

Giant Devil Rays

31th of May 2019 

On the 4th day of the expedition we got lucky! We departed from Cabrera at 5AM, arriving to our study site by 7AM where we were met by perfect conditions, playful dolphin pods and the elusive Giant Devil Rays! Since these are very shy species, Ramón and Save The Med's marine biologist Miguel waited patiently for the rays to get used to their presence. Hopefully it won't be long before we manage to tag them! 

Early mornings, long days and short nights take their toll on the expedition team and limit communication possibilities with the staff on land. Nevertheless with so many passionate ocean lovers gathered on two boats, the spirit is high and the atmosphere on board awesome. We are all thrilled about being part of such a meaningful project that aims to help protect some of the most vulnerable species of the Mediterranean Sea. 

Giant Devil Rays

Expedition time!

29th of May 2019

During the weekend, our team set out to conduct a two week long research expedition in the newly expanded marine national park of #Cabrera. By studying pelagic marine species our research will allow us to better understand their biology, distribution and movement patterns: information that is deficient yet crucial to their protection.

Two boats, the beautiful Norwegian sailing vessel Toftevaag and the powerful Cachalote, set out towards Cabrera despite of wind, rain and choppy waters. Due to the bad weather the first days at sea were rough with a slow start, however a huge pod of striped dolphins very soon put smiles on our faces!

Onboard we have Captain Ricardo Sagarminaga who has dedicated his life to the conservation of the oceans, focusing on the study of cetaceans and marine turtles to address the management of specific risks that they are facing, such as marine traffic and by catch. We are also joined by Dr. Ramón Bonfil, a world known researcher and shark expert with many years of experience of tagging elasmobranchs in different parts of the world. 

Their combined knowledge is impressive and the team is super excited about learning new techniques to better understand the species we are observing, techniques which also include beneficial contributions to the management of the marine national park.

And speaking of the management of marine protected areas; during two of the days, Pep Amengual, the Director of Servicio de Conservación del Organismo Autónomo de Parques Nacionales (OAPN) joined us onboard. Pep shared his knowledge about marine protection with the team and showed great interest in the work and objectives of Save The Med. All parts are convinced that working together will be the key to efficient marine regeneration.

Expedition time!