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Births, rebirths, transitions... After a year marked globally by the pandemic, new people, projects and goals have found their way to Save the Med in 2021. Here is a detailed summary of 365 days of action for marine regeneration. These would not have been possible without your collaboration and support. Happy reading!
More than 20 habitats and 500 different species make up one of the richest underwater seascapes in the Serra de Tramuntana. In recent years, Save The Med's efforts to reestablish the marine ecosystems of the Balearic Islands have focused, among other areas, on the Cape of Formentor. On the Tramuntana coastline, it has one of the area’s greatest potential for transformation into a healthy marine environment. To date, Save The Med’s scientific team have investigated 26 km of underwater coastal ecosystems, running along the cape, from Punta Beca to the Formentor lighthouse.<o:p></o:p>
Thanks to the support of Camper and 11th Hour Racing Team, the foundation will now continue to study the area, with an innovative holistic approach to the management of the natural environment, involving both land and sea based activities. The project focuses on dialogues with different stakeholders, as well as the specific needs of the communities that live there. The ultimate goal is to collectively promote the regeneration of the area's marine and terrestrial ecosystems. The project focuses on working together with local communities and collaborating with fellow NGOs based in the area.
Check out our GUIDE TO HONEST ALTERNATIVES TO SINGLE-USE PLASTICS.
This tool will help you make more environmentally friendly decisions when running your business. It also helps you avoid FALSE advertising and greenwashing - helping you select HONEST products that truly help the environment. Consult it before ordering from your suppliers! To find out how your business can get certified as a Plastic Free Guardian, go to www.plasticfreebalerics.org
The results are gathered to help us gain an overall understanding of people’s thoughts and knowledge of the Sa Dragonera protected waters. Your opinions on the subject are very important and this is your chance to express them. Anyone can participate, but you can only do it once. Filling the survey should not take more than a 15 minutes. All participants will have the opportunity win a gift! Take your chance!
Plastic Free Balearics, a certification created and promoted by the foundations Save the Med and IbizaPreservation, with the participation of Plastic Free Ibiza & Formentera and the Plastic Free Menorca alliance, presented, as part of the European Week for Waste Reduction, preliminary results revealing the impact of its first stage of certification.
Plastic Free Balearics has created a seal of environmental quality that facilitates the reduction of single-use plastics among businesses operating in the hospitality sector across the four islands.
Businesses who are interested in the certification can learn more in the downloadable brochure below and visit www.plasticfreebalearics.org to fill out the application form.
Save the Med Foundation, together with IfUIwill.com, encourages citizens to return to the beaches and take a photo to participate in the Beach Photo Challenge taking place between November 13th to December 4th.
For this online competition, Save The Med has joined forces with ifUiWill.com, a challenge app designed to bring people together to do good in the world.
As the climate is changing and the use of plastic is skyrocketing, we must remember what we are fighting for: clean and healthy seas and beaches!
Five awarded photos will be chosen by ifUiWill users through their VOTES. The prizes for the most voted photo include a one night hotel stay, a gift from Save The Med and the title for Best Beach photo in the world. The following 4 most voted photos will receive a gift a one night hotel stay.
Click here to find out more and participate in the challenge!
Save The Med invites the public to an informative conference on Sa Dragonera, organised in collaboration with the City Council of Andratx and the MARE contest, on the November 5, 6 and 7,
The sessions - full of information on the marine environment in the Marine Reserve, interesting talks, screenings, participatory dynamics, exhibition of the MARE Dragonera FotoColab photographs, a round table and fun activities - will take place in the plenary hall of the Andratx town hall on the 5th and 6th, and in Sant Elm on the 7th of November.
Download the full programme by clicking on the link below the image.
Registration by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Limited spots available!
Include your name and surname, the days you are going to attend and number of attendees.
Do you want to join the movement against single-use plastics for a healthy Mediterranean Sea? Come up with ideas to reduce plastic consumption and start the adventure of a lifetime.
Who can join?
Standard version: Students in the Balearic Islands aged 15-18 years
Juniors version: Students in Mallorca aged 8-14 years
Special thanks to Fundación Jesus Serra for making this project possible.
Once again, we offer our popular "Dos Manos" schools programme and invite students to participate in the exciting Changemakers project!
This year we are also launching a JUNIOR version of The Changemakers Project for students in Mallorca aged 8-14 years.
Below the image you can download a leaflet with more information about each of the projects including links to videos.
For the second consecutive year the Audiovisual Contest MARE offers a space to share your vision and messages through photographs both in and out of the water! This year, through the Xarxa Dragonera Blava, we are working together to impulse participation with photographs highlighting the Marine Protected Area (MPA) of Sa Dragonera.
If you participate in MARE with a photograph of the Sa Dragonera MPA, make sure to add the tags #AMP #SaDragonera so that you, in addition to having the possibility of winning prizes from MARE, also automatically participate in a raffle organised by Xarxa Dragonera Blava. Many local companies from the Sa Dragonera area have donated prizes for the raffle, which will be drawn at the end of September, so there is a prize for everyone!
Get your camera ready, have fun out there and remember to submit your best photographs to MARE before September 15! All information can be found on www.marebalear.org.
The Balearic Islands have taken another step towards becoming a more sustainable destination, with the launch of the pioneering certification “Plastic Free Balearics”. This new environmental guarantee has been developed by local conservation organisations and will certify businesses within the region’s hospitality industry that successfully reduce single-use plastics (SUPs).
The certification goes beyond the requirements of the recently introduced Balearic Waste Law, which prohibits the use of various single-use plastic products, including cups, cutlery, plates and plastic rings for six-packs, but it continues to allow the use of bioplastics.
“This ambitious certification is a fundamental tool for businesses that really want to minimise their environmental impact. At the same time, it offers key elements that help businesses obtain a competitive advantage, contributing as well to improve the competitiveness of the Balearic Islands as a tourist destination” says project manager Jaime Bagur.
Plastic Free Balearics aims to avoid any so-called “greenwashing” by providing certified businesses with a “Guide of Honest Alternatives” in order to help them to replace single-use products with less harmful ones, along with a personalised roadmap detailing the steps required to become plastic-free.
The certification, which will be free during the pilot phase, is a joint initiative between IbizaPreservation and Mallorca’s Save The Med Foundation. It was developed thanks to the co-financing of the Monaco-based association, Beyond Plastic Med and includes the participation of Plastic Free Ibiza and Formentera and Plastic Free Menorca.
Under the umbrella of “Plastic Free Balearics”, these organisations are now inviting all businesses across the islands’ hospitality industry to become Plastic Free Guardians and earn from 1 up to 5 stars, free-of-charge.
Complying with the new Balearic Waste Law and EU directives is a mandatory requirement across all levels. Businesses can earn up to 5 stars, depending on the percentage of items removed from a list of so-called Red Flag products. These are highly polluting products, such as plastic bottles, toiletries, single-dose products etc. None of the certification levels accept bioplastic products as an alternative.
“The ability of bioplastics to degrade and be properly composted has not been successfully proven. Bioplastics are therefore not considered to be a suitable alternative within the new certification,” explains Bagur.
The objective of Plastic Free Balearics is to promote and develop the Balearic Islands as a region highly committed to sustainability and environmental regeneration. The initiative benefits from the support of the Balearics Government, all four Island Councils and associations of the hospitality sector, and draws from the knowledge of experts and scientists in the field.
Businesses who are interested in the certification can visit www.plasticfreebalearics.org and fill out the application form.
Save The Med is working together with Govern de les Illes Balears, Marilles Foundation, Palma Aquarium Foundation, Petites Illes del Mediterrani, Mallorca Preservation Fund, Centre de visitants del Parque Nacional de Cabrera and local fishermen on a new pilot project called “Petits taurons. Acció Stellaris.”
This species conservation project focuses on the nursehound (Scyliorhinus stellaris), a small shark species which is classified as at risk of extinction in the “Llibre Vermell dels Peixos de les Balears” (the Red Book of Fish of the Balearics) and is protected in the marine reserves of the Balearic Islands.
This long term project, with a minimum duration of three years, aims to help the Balearic nursehound population to recover through:
1) An environmental education programme to educate about the threats to and ecological importance of sharks in the Balearic sea and to involve the Balearic fishing sector in the implementation of the project and the conservation of the species.
2) The breeding of nursehound sharks in a controlled, artificial environment and the subsequent release of the offspring in different areas of the Balearic Sea, including Cabrera, Formentera and the Menorca channel.
The participation of professional fishermen and the fisheries associations is essential for the success of the project, whose longterm objective is to replicate the initiative to protect other threatened sharks in the Balearic sea.
The Nit de Sant Joan #ResiduZero movement, initiated by Es Racó de ses Idees and Save the Med Foundation, invites you to the opening of the exhibition Els plastics ocults (The Hidden Plastics) Wednesday, 23rd of June, starting 18PM on the Portitxol Promenade in Palma.
The exhibition aims to help us detect and replace plastics that are hidden in common items that we use in our daily lives and of which we are often not even aware. Recognising and reducing these hidden plastics is a vital step for our health and for the regeneration of our Planet.
Along with the exhibition, there will be stands with alternatives that will help you to make conscious choices, artistic performance and live radio.
Sign up to the Facebook event and share it on your social networks.
It is time to take care of our seas. With the aim of highlighting the importance of commitment to sustainability by all sectors, @bancamarch is organising a photography contest on Instagram and has invited Save The Med Foundation to be part of the jury. Participate to showcase the beauty of nature!
Until June 24, you can participate with your best photographs related to sustainability and the environment, future megatrends with a sustainable approach (technology, lifestyle), or the sea and water as an essential natural resource.
1.- Publish your photographs under the theme using the hashtag #SostenibilidadBancaMarch and tag @bancamarch.
2.- Follow the @bancamarch account on Instagram.
You can win prizes (and participate in various raffles).
Find the rules and participate: https://concursosostenibilidadbancamarch.com/
The weekend of 22-23rd of May the passionate research and expedition team from the Association ‘7th Continent’, who are sailing the world studying, alerting about and searching for solutions to plastic pollution at sea, will be visiting Majorca and opening up their amazing ship La Goëlette for visits by the public and school students.
During the last ten years, the scientific expeditions conducted by the NGO have contributed to a better understanding of the impact of microplastics and nanoplastics in the food chain, in nature and in human health.
During Sunday 23rd, between 11AM - 2PM and 6PM to 7PM visitors of all ages will be able visit the boat, connect with the scientists and participate in an interactive exposition with members of 7th Continent and Save The Med Foundation. School students will receive guided tours of the exhibition and the research vessel, and get a chance to talk directly to the scientists about all things related to plastic pollution and marine ecosystems and learn what it is like to live and work on board a research vessel*.
Both 7th Continent and Save The Med work for clean and healthy seas, focusing on marine protection and the study and reduction of plastic pollution through science, education and policy change, and are convinced that the problems we face today are not problems that we can merely leave in the hands of future generations.
“As adults we must take the lead, gain an understanding of the issues at hand and take action now, at all levels of society. The positive thing about plastic pollution is that we can. We can take immediate action in our homes, at our work places and in our companies, and through the internet we can support initiatives that work for policy change locally and internationally. Visiting the exhibition to learn about the topic of plastic pollution and what we can do to reduce it in a fun and exciting way together with family and friends can be a first step in that positive direction.” - Mari Gutic, Head of education and outreach, Save The Med Foundation
After having explored the North Pacific and North Atlantic in previous years, the 7th Continent team is currently focusing on the study of movements of microplastics between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. For this purpose, after visiting the Balearic Islands they will be heading towards the Alboran Sea, where the exchange of sea water between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea occurs, to conduct samples on both sides of Gibraltar.This expedition will be followed by expeditions to the Atlantic gyres in the coming years.
“The Mediterranean Sea is a hotspot for biodiversity. Unfortunately, due to its very closed geographical location and the intense maritime transport, fishing and the industrial and tourist activities, the Mediterranean Sea is particularly sensitive to plastic pollution, and we all have a role to play in reducing it.” - Bruno Nicolas, president, 7th Continent
VISIT THE EXPEDITION BOAT AND INTERACTIVE EXHIBITION:
The Balearic Sea, with its seabeds and its coasts, is magical and full of life. That is why MARE is offering a space to share your vision and your message through photographs both in and out of the water for the second consecutive year!
MARE is a collaborative Balearic initiative promoted by organisations and entities committed to marine conservation and nature photography and video including Marilles Foundation, Ibiza Preservation, Menorca Reserva de Biosfera, Mallorca Preservation, Menorca Preservation, Foro marino Ibiza y Formentera, l'Associació de Fotografia de Natura de les Illes Balears (AFONIB), Federación Balear de Actividades Subacuáticas (FBDAS), IRCC Photo among others.
There are 4 participation profiles: Children, Youth, Amateur and Experts, and 5 categories;
1. MARE Animalia
2. MARE Plantae
3. MARE Magna
4. MARE Nostrum
5. MARE Complaint
A total of € 10,000 will be distributed among 23 prizes — monetary awards for the Adult participation profiles and underwater equipment for the Youth profiles.
Photographs out of the water can be submitted in ALL categories. Prep your camera and participate from July 15 to September 15! All information can be found at www.marebalear.org.
Join the "Let's clean up Europe" initiative by joining or organising a beach clean!
To strengthen our work for Marine Protected Areas we are looking for a Marine Protected Areas Technician and a Project Coordinator for Community Engagement projects focused on MPAs.
2020 was a year unlike any other and a year that will define all others. In Save The Med's 2020 Annual Report, in his yearly ‘Letter from the president', Brad Robertson, co-founder of Save The Med, highlights some of the experiences that we all shared this year, the important lessons that we learned and the solutions that can help us move forwards towards a society where we restore our bond with nature.
"In 2020 we saw that, as a society, we can take immediate action when we decide that the price of inaction if too high. Now immediate, science-based action is what is urgently required. To halt escalating biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, climate emergency and the cascade of consequences which are already following in many places around the globe, we must make responsibility diffusion unacceptable, ecocide a legal concept and regeneration of natural ecosystems our number one priority for investments and our ultimate measurement of success. Instead of educating youth about global issues which we then leave in their hands, we must strive to solve those problems alongside them and become the brave role models, visionaries and leaders they need in order to create change together."
Download the document below to read his letter, learn about results of our project work, see images from some spectacular underwater encounters, get to know the funders, corporate partners and individuals who make our work possible, read quotes from #GenerationSaveTheMed and more!
We would like to thank all of you very much for believing in our team and supporting Save The Med’s work in these times. Your support is what makes all of this possible!
Save The Med’s annual Changemakers Project, which invites students aged 15-18 from the Balearic Islands to join the fight against plastic pollution already has 15 teams signed up for 2021! While the teenagers are doing an amazing job coming up with project to reduce the use of plastic, it is a huge challenge they are taking on and all help is welcome!
To increase impact, this year we are expanding the project to younger age groups by launching the pilot project Changemakers Junior for students aged 8-14!
By developing and implementing their projects students will help raise awareness and ignite a wave of change in their schools and communities, for the reduction of plastic pollution and protection of the marine environment. While the mission of both versions of the project remains the same - to raise awareness and reduce the use of single use plastics - the two versions will differ in some aspects:
For example, the Junior students will work together as a whole class to brainstorm ideas and develop projects that aim to reduce the use of single use plastic. All projects that fit the evaluation criteria will be eligible, whether they are ongoing or new projects.
Among other surprises, all participants will receive a diploma and get a chance to learn about marine life, the tools used to study it and about the life of a marine scientist together with STM's research and education team!*
The most impactful projects will be offered an opportunity to develop a short documentary about their project together with Save The Med’s media production team and receive other surprises that are in the making!
Meanwhile, with the feedback and suggestions from the schools participating in the pilot phase of the Changemakers Junior project, Save The Med will work to further develop and improve all aspects of the project for the following school years and to create fun opportunities for students from different schools to interact, share their ideas and much more*!
Download the information leaflet below the image and contact us to sign your class up to the pilot project!
Remember that students aged 15*-18 can still sign up to the standard version of the Changemakers Project for a chance to make a difference and join Save The Med’s expedition team at sea! (*Includes students that will turn 15 by December 31st 2021)
We would like to thank Fundación Jesús Serra for funding the Changemakers Project in 2020 and 2021, and to Ocean Family Foundation, European Outdoor Conservation Association, OceanCare, La Caixa Bank via Fundación La Caixa and our Corporate Partners who all contribute to the co-funding of our education and awareness programmes.
*Dates and format for the activities and future events will depend on the current safety regulations and be coordinated together with teachers. .
Save The Med's Plastic Free Balearics team have been working together with Futouris, a sustainability initiative for the German tourism industry, to reduce plastic waste generation in the tourism sector. As a result of this collaboration, Futouris has recently published a guide on how to reduce (single-use) plastic in hotels and tourism businesses.
The guide presents alternatives to the most commonly used single-use plastic products. The various products are presented based on their impact on the environment so that businesses can easily choose the alternatives that work best for them while considering the environmental impact.
The guide was developed as part of the project “Plastic-free holidays in the Balearic Islands”, in which Futouris members cooperate with the government of the Balearic Islands and local NGOs such as Travel Without Plastic and Save The Med Foundation to actively tackle plastic pollution. Concepts and measures for the reduction of plastic waste were developed together with local hoteliers and other partners from the tourism industry.
The guide supports tourism businesses in finding more sustainable alternatives to commonly used single-use plastic products. For example, different alternatives are suggested for plastic bottles, miniature toiletries, plastic-wrapped bathroom items, slippers, straws, plastic tableware and take-away boxes. The recommended alternatives are rated according to their sustainability performance based on the Honest Alternatives to Plastic Index (HAPI) developed by Save The Med Foundation.
Among other factors, the index compares the impact of the used materials on the environment, their recyclability and the existing disposal options for the materials. The guide aso includes cost-benefit analysis of some common products as well as communication suggestions for how to explain the new changes to guests and customers.
Prof. Dr. Harald Zeiss, CEO of Futouris, is convinced: “Most single-use plastic products are easy to replace. But many companies don’t know the possibilities. This is where our guidance comes in: We offer tourism businesses worldwide a clear selection of more sustainable alternatives. This saves companies time and reduces plastic waste along the entire tourism value chain.”
As the project continues, the suggested measures developed to reduce plastic consumption will be evaluated together with the businesses that participate in the project in regard to their feasibility and potential cost-savings for the hotels.
Learn more about:
“Preserving the heritage of holiday destinations and developing a sustainable future for the travel industry - that is what Futouris stands for! Our members are committed to the improvement of living conditions, the conservation of biological diversity and environment and to climate protection. Our aim is to help - in the long term, comprehensively and sustainably. All measures are planned and implemented in close collaboration with the local people.“
“Travel Without Plastic is an organisation established by tourism and sustainability professionals to provide practical advice and implement strategies to reduce unnecessary single-use plastic consumption, creating environmental benefits, reducing costs and engaging staff and customers from across the tourism sector. Travel Without Plastic created a range of online tools including the Let’s Reduce Single-Use Toolkit which is available on their website.”
Save The Med Foundations initiative “Balears Sense Plàstic (BSP)”, which translates to Plastic Free Balearics, works to involve entities, companies, producers and local authorities in the reduction of plastic use by working together to assess their current use of single use plastics, compare it to alternatives and implement low impact/zero waste options. Their latest initiative is a Workshop for parents called “Single use plastic free at home and in school”, delivered in collaboration with FAPA Mallorca (The Federation of Associations of Parents of School students).
Save The Med’s has involved thousands of students annually in their hands on education initiatives including the “Dos Manos Schools Programme” and the “Changemakers Project”, during which students aged 10-18 learn about the topics of marine regeneration and plastic pollution, conduct citizen science beach cleans and come ip with creative solutions to reduce the use of plastic. The participation in the programmes is highly valued by students and teachers alike, and often results in the implementation of changes to reduce plastic pollution in the schools and the everyday lives of students.
The workshop aims to support parents of school students and provide tools that enable them to make their children feel understood and supported in their move towards a low impact lifestyle, and invites them to embark on that transformative journey together as a team. The online workshop is offered in Catalán, Spanish and English and consists of three parts, two of which are done independently previous to the online workshop:
Part 1 (previous to the workshop):
An informative video will be provided to the families by Save The Med. The video presents the project, teaches about the impact of single-use plastics on the environment and poses question related to possible solutions to the issue.
Part 2 (previous to the workshop):
A questionnaire will be distributed to each family in which they will list their most commonly used single use plastics. The results obtained will help shape the content and design of the online workshop. Participants will be asked to bring some of these products to the online workshop.
Part 3 (during the online workshop):
With their new knowledge and questionnaire results, together with the STM team participants will analyse the negative impact caused by the single-use plastics used in their homes and schools, and alternatives to these products will be proposed and discussed. The STM team will present a tailor made comparison chart that numerically shows what the impact would be if the participants replaced their most commonly used single use items for zero waste alternatives as well as provide information on where on the island different types of zero waste products can be obtained. Together the participants will develop their own “Best Practice Guidelines” and a solutions infographic to use as a tool in the reduction of single use plastics in their homes and schools.
Click here to sign your parent association up to the workshop! Limited availability!
We are pleased to launch The Changemakers Project for the fourth year in a row and excited to announce that the program has expanded, inviting students all over the Balearic Islands to participate in 2021!
Over the years, the voices and actions of Changemaker students have created amazing results – reducing plastic consumption in schools and communities all across Mallorca. Hundreds of students have demonstrated how much they care for the environment, and how passionate they are about a plastic-free future and a healthy Mediterranean Sea.
“Through this project, students learn valuable curriculum skills and abilities, first and foremost: teamwork. Taking initiative, independence, project development and then all the awareness and values that are imparted while working on an environmental issue.” - Marilen Gelabert, teacher, Aula Balear
The teams behind the five most successful projects will join Save The Med for marine science expeditions at sea, on-board the research vessel Toftevaag and the solar powered boat Stenella. Furthermore, their classes will be offered cash prizes to be used towards environmental projects during the school year.
Every single participating team and teacher will be invited to join the Changemakers Exhibition - an event where students can attend inspiring talks, science workshops and exhibit their projects to visitors and experts. This event format will of course be in keeping with the current COVID-19 regulations.
Participation is completely free and teams can sign-up online at: www.changemakersatsea.com
The deadline to submit projects is 3rd May 2021.
Special thanks to Fundación Jesús Serra for funding the Changemakers Project in 2020 and 2021, and to Ocean Family Foundation, European Outdoor Conservation Association, OceanCare, La Caixa Bank via Fundación La Caixa and our Corporate Partners who all contribute to the co-funding of our education and awareness programmes.
Plan your 2021 with a Save The Med diary!
Click here to find your nearest selling point in Mallorca.
Sale price is 20€. Our costs are 13.09€ leaving 6.91€ that go directly toward Save the Med projects for marine regeneration.
Get one now, for yourself or as gifts for your friends and family!
In 2020 EOCA members awarded Save The Med Foundation a grant to help fund education and clean up initiatives that focus on the reduction of plastic pollution during 2021.
We are truly grateful to the EOCA members, to VAUDE who nominated Save The Med, and to everyone who voted for our project earlier this fall!
Save the Med Foundation and IbizaPreservation have joined forces in the development of the “Plastic Free Balearics” initiative, under the slogan “Four islands, one common goal: Plastic free Balearics.”
The project, which is co-financed by Beyond Plastic Med (BeMed), aims to create a certification standard for the reduction of single use plastics. Through this certification, the organisations hope to significantly increase the number of companies committed to reducing single-use plastics, as well as uniting all sectors - private, governmental and non-governmental - in the common goal of reducing the environmental impact generated by plastic pollution, which affects both the biodiversity of the islands and the health of its residents.
This joint certification mark sees two pioneering ideas from each foundation come together. In 2019, "Plastic Free Ibiza and Formentera", a movement promoted by IbizaPreservation, launched its own certification process, awarding stars to companies in the tourism and hospitality sector of the two islands, in return for taking proven steps to eliminate single-use plastics from their businesses.
For its part, Save the Med has developed "Balears Sense Plàstic" in Mallorca, and designed a tool which measures plastic usage and offers comparisons and improvements to help its members become more environmentally friendly. Between the two initiatives, more than 150 companies throughout the region have already been assessed.
"These initiatives have allowed us to identify products that are being used unnecessarily and which can be replaced by reusable, local and seasonal products, thus reducing existing problems in this area," said Bradley Robertson, President of Save the Med. "By joining forces, with all the knowledge and experience we have accumulated, we hope to achieve a more robust certification.”
The project will last 18 months, starting with a process of harmonising the existing initiative in Mallorca with that of Ibiza and Formentera. The unified certification that will result from this process will also be applied in Menorca, through Plastic Free Menorca, an initiative of the Menorca Preservation Foundation.
On November 5, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food published, in the Official State Gazette, the order establishing the new marine reserve of Sa Dragonera in the southeast of Mallorca, and defining its delimitation, zones and uses.
In 2016 the waters between the island of Sa Dragonera and Mallorca were declared protected. With this new declaration, the protection is extended to the external waters of the Dragonera island.
The new marine reserve, which has an area of 457 hectares, is divided into three zones of different degrees of protection. 82 hectares correspond to an integral reserve. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food emphasizes that this is an area where "populations with great recovery potential coexist, such as groupers, scorpion fish and morays."
At Save The Med we celebrate the new marine reserve and are very happy to have been able to contribute to this process along with many other groups and individuals from the Andratx community. We especially remember and wish to honor the efforts of Fernando Garfella Palmer to achieve the protection of this area.
The scientific community agrees that the loss of biodiversity is closely related to the increase in pandemics. This was the starting point which motivated Save The Med Foundation and the creativity and technology agency "Patterson Agency", to work together to develop "Define Human", a campaign to rethink our role in nature.
Through interviews, videos, infographics and downloadable materials, Define Human invites citizens to reflection and proposes actions which can lead us towards a more resilient, collaborative society.
"We believe that human beings can become a positive and regenerative force in nature and that this crisis can help us redefine our role on the planet," says Ana Núñez, of the Patterson Agency.
Many scientists, experts, thinkers and educators have participated in Define Human. One of them is Fernando Valladares, who holds a PhD in Biology and is a research professor at the CSIC. He states that “it was known that a pandemic was going to come, in the same way that we know that if we don't change things, another one will come very soon, sooner than we imagine. To prevent pandemics we have to become allies with nature”.
Other participants include:
In addition, from Bhutan, the former education minister and professor Thakur S. Powdyel speaks about the value of “Gross National Happiness” as a tool for change and measure of the success of a society which is based on social and ecological values and shares the pillars of “The Green Schools”.
Through their proposals we will explore the benefits of diversifying the economic system, move towards low impact way of living, learn about the regenerative projects that are developing in the Balearic Islands, explore the pillars of a comprehensive education and discover what roles companies can have in this shift of paradigm.
“Is this the future we wanted for ourselves, for our children and for the planet? If not, how can we create the reality we want? ”reflects Mari Gutic, from the Save The Med Foundation.
The climate emergency and the social and systemic crisis we are currently experiencing, is making it essential that we redesign our economies and abandon the throw-away culture and excessive consumerism that have led to so much environmental damage.
The global models of extraction, production, distribution, consumption and waste treatment erode our natural world and consume resources and energy which cause multiple environmental impacts and social imbalances. The result of this is a growing mountain of highly toxic and complex waste which is hardly reusable and is not designed to be repairable or compostable.
Particularly on islands such as ours, where with an urgent need for diversification of the local economy, it is imperative that we generate new jobs and income that are also of social and environmental value. Our own waste mountain can only be resolved with a firm commitment to invest in re-use and repair of the products we consume on a daily basis – which requires a quantum shift from a linear economy to a circular one.
Throughout the summer entities including Save the Med, Amics de la Terra, Begudes Puig, Cleanwave, Fundació Deixalles,GOB, Eines per la Inserció – Càritas Mallorca, Ecobodega, Rezero-Fundacióper la Prevenció dels Residus, Boomerangags and l’Oficina d’Universitat Saludable I Sostenible de la UIB, worked to define a common roadmap in favour of re-use in the Balearic Islands.
The work resulted in the signing of a Pact for Re-use was presented in the gardens of the Deixalles Foundation on the 17th of October – which is International Repair Day.
The entities who signed the Pact of Re-use are striving to promote eco-design such as packaging food and drink in truly returnable and re-useable materials, while highlighting the enormous environmental, social and economic benefits of re-use and repair.
The Pact itself is multifaceted and its objectives include:
It is only by firmly and urgently opting for the elimination of single use products and investing in re-use that we will achieve the profound change of the economic, social and environmental model which is needed in the Balearic Islands.
This Monday, September 14th, Boris Nowalski, founder of Mallorca Open Swim, swam across the channel from Menorca to Mallorca, a distance of almost 40 km, in 11 hours and 05 min.
Nowalski sums up the experience as an excellent crossing with very favorable weather. The departure from Menorca, from Cap d'Artrutx, was marked by a spectacular sunrise, but also by the presence of remains of thaliaceans that sting when in contact with skin. Once they disappeared, Boris managed to achieve a good swimming rhythm which was combined with a planned meal plan scheduled for every hour and provided from a kayak and safety boat.
During Boris's experience of swimming in Mallorca for the last 20 years, he has observed a decreasing amount of fish in the sea. He finds that there is less posidonia and that the amount of plastic pollution is increasing every year. "The Mediterranean is dying!" he said. These observations were the main reason for why Boris decided to join forces with Save The Med and, through his challenge, make people aware of the urgency to change the current situation in the Mediterranean Sea.
This was the first charity challenge that Boris had done and it exceeded his previous personal record of 8 hours. When he reached Cap de Freus, the excitement of being cheered on by the whole family, his friends and the Save The Med team helped him finish the last stretch with joy and pride. "These things have to be done, because they make you feel alive!" he said.
The Costa Rican thanked Pere Galiana, his training partner and fundamental support, the Kayaker Joan Márquez, the Pachira boat, Guillem and Marc, Tita LLorenç and Siscu from the Menorca Channel Swimming Association, BookMeBoats who transported the family and friends to the arrival point, the Wikiki restaurant, the Save The Med team and of course to all the individuals and companies that have contributed to the cause.
Many donors have made their contributions through the digital platform, Ihelp.org: Crossing by swimming from Menorca to Mallorca, where donations can be made until November 1st.
Sponsors also include CaixaBank, through its Social Action, and the “la Caixa” Foundation, which have made a donation to support the educational project 'Dos Manos', the real estate agency Inmobilaria Palmer and private individuals who have made transfers from abroad.
The Spinetail devil ray (Mobula mobular) is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as endangered in the Mediterranean. As a result of the knowledge accumulated by Save The Med in recent years about their presence and behaviour in the Balearic Sea, we are launching the a new research project which could constitute a key element for the development of a conservation strategy of elasmobranchs.
There is little information on the biology and ecology of the species in the Mediterranean. However, thanks to telemetry tracking techniques (satellite tags) and the increase in sighting capacity, work is being done to fill existing data gaps. With the Balearic Sea being an optimal area for the research of the species, this project will allow us to deepen our knowledge of these mysterious animals.
The main objectives of the project are: to examine the migration patterns and vertical movements of the species, collect DNA samples to characterise the Mediterranean population, document their reproductive behaviour and develop risk maps: areas of interaction between mantas and human activities such as the fishing, boating or pollution.
The information obtained during the project is crucial for the design of an appropriate conservation strategy for the species which will contribute to the regeneration of the Mediterranean. Another priority objective is to obtain an image bank and share the beauty of these majestic animals in order to raise awareness about the importance of conserving our natural heritage.
Yesterday we celebrated the life of, and said goodbye to, Fernando Garfella Palmer.
The communities of Andratx, Mallorca, the Balearic Islands and the Mediterranean in its entirety have lost a huge force in making our world a much better place. Fernando leaves us a legacy of how to live when leading with your heart. His commitment to the environment and humanity was a testament to the man he was.
The entire Save The Med team will be eternally grateful for the input Fernando made towards Mediterranean Marine Regeneration through his extremely high level abilities of film making, his never ending drive to help others and the positivity and motivation his presence had on us all.
Save The Med Foundation sends all our love to Fernando's family, close friends and to all the people that were lucky enough to have part of their lives touched by this unique and beautiful soul.
Fernando, you have our love and respect forever!
Each year, over 800.000 tons of illegal ghost gear enter the marine ecosystem. Fishing nets, Ghost FADs and longlines can drift for very long periods, casing the entanglement of hundreds of thousands marine animals including for example turtles, sharks, seabirds, whales and dolphins. They contribute to the transportation of persistent toxic compounds and invasive species and constitute a risk for boats and shipping. Sunken to the sea bed, they impact the sea floor and pose a threat to scuba divers. Washed up ashore, they contribute to the destruction of vulnerable habitats and may cause entanglement among land animals.
In just two months of the sea campaign, the Save The Med's research team has removed more than 80 artefacts from the waters of the Cabrera National Park and it is estimated that there are currently between 50,000 and 60.000 more adrift in the western Mediterranean alone.
To solve this alarmingly increasing issues concerted effort at a global scale based on collaborative networks. For this reason, in 2020, Save The Med joined the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), the world’s largest cross-sectoral alliance committed to driving solutions to the problem of ghost fishing. By working together with GGGI, OceanCare and Fundación Palma Aquarium's Rescue Center for Marine Fauna the organisation is launching a new project called 'MED GHOST FADs'.
MED GHOST FADs is a new networking platform for a basin-wide concerted effort between public administrations, port authorities, research institutions, marine wildlife recovery centres, fishers, diving centres and sailors. Balearic collaborators include among others the Balearic Federation of Fishermen Associations, PORTS IB and Ports de Balears.
Through this initiative, a pioneering pilot project is launched in Europe and the Mediterranean that could serve as a model in other regions of the world where the problem of ghost fishing is also one of the main threats today. The Balearic Islands thus become a testing laboratory for the Global Ghost Fishing Initiative (GGGI), the multisectoral international alliance to combat ghost fishing.
The framework for the project is the UN Environment Programme Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP MAP), the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the FAO General Fisheries Commission of the Mediterranean, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), the Bonn Convention for Migratory Species (CMS) and the US Marine Turtle Conservation Act.
The project is supported by the OceanCare, US Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) and LIBERA Project (SEO Birdlife - Ecoembes - Fundación Reina Sofía) and counts on the collaboration of SOCIB, UIB, NOAA and Palma Aquarium Foundation. The Palma Aquarium Marine Fauna Recovery Center is a service managed by the Consortium for the Recovery of Fauna in the Balearic Islands, an entity belonging to the Ministry of the Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries.
For more information on the project visit https://www.ghostfads.org.
Learn more about:
On July 8th, a loggerhead turtle which was named Gloria was found and rescued from entanglement in the waters surrounding Cabrera Island. Since then, she has been cared for by the Palma Aquarium Marine Fauna Rescue Center, a service managed by the Consortium for the recovery of the Fauna of the Balearic Islands, an entity belonging to the Ministry of the Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries.
As part of the "Turtle Oceanographers" Project, before releasing Gloria back into the open sea, Save The Med, in collaboration with the Palma Aquarium Foundation, Palma Aquarium Rescue Center, NOAA and SOCIB, placed a satellite tag on her in order to be able to monitor and integrate information on her movements, dive profiles and the water temperature in the multiplatform Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS).
This follow-up of Gloria is of special relevance at a time when the Mediterranean is facing a threat that has reached alarming proportions; entanglement of turtles, cetaceans and other protected species in ghost fishing gear.
On Monday, 27th of July, during the General Fisheries Commission of the Mediterranean, Save the Med will present the first data from the new MED GHOST FAD project, which has removed 68 ghost fishing devices during only two months of expeditions in the waters of the Terrestrial Maritime National Park of Cabrera. At the same time, the rate of entangled turtles arriving at the Palma Aquarium Rescue Center has increased considerably.
On the positive side of things, yesterday Gloria and one more recovered turtle were released back into their natural habitat and are ready to continue their transoceanic journeys. You can follow Gloria here: http://seaturtle.socib.es/en/turtle-viewer/
Recently participants of the Changemakers Project joined our team at sea. Three teams spent a day each exploring the waters of the Maritime-Terrestrial Natural Park of Es Trenc-Salobrar de Campos on the solar powered boat Stenella. Meanwhile, one team, joined the Save The Med crew for a 10 day long research expedition onboard the research vessel Toftevaag. The conditions were ideal for wildlife sighting, but also for finding all kinds of floating plastic pollution; the exact topic that brought the students to the boat in first place.
Despite the lockdown, the student teams spent months working on the development of projects to raise awareness about plastic pollution and reduce the use of single use plastics, and presented a variety of creative projects which can be found here.
Already on the first day off shore, Team Kokua were lucky enough to spot a sperm whale - the largest toothed whale on the planet!
“We put in a hydrophone in the water. It’s a long cable with a microphone attached at the end that allows us to hear them”, Nacho, one of the students explained. “The sperm whale creates specific sounds, kind of like clicks, when it is searching for food. It’s called echolocation. Sometimes you can hear the sounds becoming faster, like many fast clicks, which means it’s trying to pin down a prey. And if it then turns silent for some seconds it is probably because it is eating. If the silence is longer, then it means the whale is heading towards the surface to breathe. That’s when we take our positions and try to spot it on the surface! We can also hear dolphins with the hydrophone!” he says excitedly.
During one specific day, the students managed to spot two different sperm whales seven times in one day.
“Team work is important. As soon as the whale becomes silent, we work together to spot it. We each have our positions on different parts of the boat to ensure that together we have 360 view of the horizon, so that no matter where the whale pops up, one of us will see it!”
Once the whale is in sight, the captain approached so that the crew could take photo identification and poo samples, a very smelly job! Meanwhile, the multimedia team focused on obtaining images and footage for a variety of research and education purposes.
When the whale was well rested and decided to head back to the depths, it lifted its’ fluke high above the surface in a powerful movement that left everyone onboard shouting excitedly!
During their days onboard the students also sighted a big pod of Risso’s Dolphins, several pods of Striped Dolphins and five Loggerhead turtles, learned to conduct scientific surveys and log data, helped with boat handling, snorkelled and explored the National Park of Cabrera by land and sea.
“When I called my parents to tell them what we had seen they couldn’t believe me! They had no idea that there are whales here in the Balearic Sea!” said Jordi, another student.
“Unfortunately, we’re also seeing much more rubbish than we could have imagined”, said Victor. “People are worried about COVID-19 now, but plastic pollution is in many ways similar to the virus when you think about it: Once it’s out there, there’s no stopping it. It spreads uncontrollably all over the place and reaches all corners of the planet, and it kills so much life” he explains.
“I don’t think people realise the effect it has on these animals. It’s one thing to see a photo, but when you’re out here and you see it with your own eyes, it really changes you. I wish people would be more careful and more caring” he added.
“People should stop buying plastic they don’t really need. We have to find a way to make them understand how important it is! That’s why we’re here! We are THE CHANGEMAKERS!” the students said with pride and hope in their eyes.
“This project changes lives” teacher Heidi said. “I’ve seen it with all the teams, this and previous years. They are still taking action, creating change in many different ways. They haven’t stopped. This project is only the beginning of a lifelong change, and the ripples are spreading far!”
We wish to thank Fundación Jesús Serra and OceanCare for sponsoring our educational projects,Toni Font enabling us to bring the students out on Stenella, and all our amazing teachers and students who are taking action to ignite a much needed change!
During the winter 2019/2020, as part of the project "Discover Your MPA Sa Dragonera", questionnaires were carried out to explore the social perception of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) among the general public and, specifically, of the MPA Freu de sa Dragonera.
Results form the survey indicate a lack of knowledge of the benefits that Marine Protected Areas provide to the commercial, cultural and recreational sectors connected to the areas. Furthermore, there is a limited understanding of the need for scientific monitoring of MPAs despite it being an important factor for their efficient functioning. Download the full survey report by clicking the link below the image.
During the lockdown we initiated a new community project to lift spirits by reconnecting with the sea through our imagination. More than 60 people participated in the project, contributing their drawings and paintings of their vision of a clean and healthy Mediterranean Sea.
Below you can download the end result. It is your vision and creativity that has enabled us to put together this beautiful Mediterranean vision.
Thank you to all the participants for their artwork! A special thank you to Fede Serramalera from Karabot for the creation of the video and to our volunteer Isabelle Homberg for her help with the design.
We hope you all enjoy it as much as we did!
In the midst of the COVID crisis we are observing a dangerous surge in the use and irresponsible disposal of single use plastic, often resulting from an erroneous belief that plastic packaging and sanitary products are safer than those made of reusable materials. Global plastic producers are opportunistically using human fear of catching or spreading the virus to increase their own profit. At the same time, the drop in oil prices has resulted in extremely cheap virgin plastic, reducing the already low demand for recycled plastic even further and proving once again that we cannot recycle our way out of this problem.Now it is more important than ever that we question these tendencies and misleading adverts, opt for safe, sustainable and lasting solutions and actively work to influence companies that are using the crisis to further increase the production of unnecessary and harmful products.
For this reason, as the Night of San Juan #ZeroWaste event, organised annually by Save The Med and Es Racó de Ses Idees, is approaching, we feel that this is the perfect time to highlight these issues, explore the history and industry of plastic and its effect on human health, the environment and our future.Therefore we invite you to join us for a free screening of the documentary The Story of Plastic, followed by an interactive online webinar with experts, taking place the week before Night of San Joan. Dr Nicolás Olea, one of the world's leading experts on the effects of plastics contaminants on human health, will participe at the discussion.
RESERVE YOUR SPOT BY CLICKING HERE. (Limited availability)
Attendees will receive two links by email:
• One, to watch the film before the discussion.
• Another for the online discussion, to be held on Thursday, June 18, at 7:00 p.m.
We hope it will be a rewarding and an inspiring experience, the learnings of which will not only facilitate for us all to celebrate a waste free Night of Sant Juan on the beach, but also help us to produce less waste in our everyday lives.
For safety reasons, this year we will not be organising the annual Night of San Juan beach event in Portitxol. Nevertheless, by watching the film and joining us for the webinar you will discover what you can do as an individual and/or entrepreneur to reduce plastic production and pollution during and after the celebrations.
We are living during completely unprecedented times. All over the internet, we have seen videos of marine animals said to be “reclaiming” their territory near coastlines, bays and beaches. Are these just false rumours or is marine wildlife really changing its behaviour?
Join Save The Med in a citizen science experiment as we set out to discover if and how the lockdown following the Covid-19 outbreak has potentially affected marine life in the Balearic Sea. As the Balearic Government slowly allows us to return to maritime activities we have a short window of opportunity to observe nature during a unique time in history.
To participate, use our questionnaire to record your observations from a particular area of the sea or coast. Write down what information you can, using either our online form or by printing the questionnaire. If you have photos or videos to share with us, even better. We ask you to report your observations whether you have seen something unusual or not. Both types of information are important for us to be able to draw unbiased conclusions.
Our only requirement is that you must already be familiar with the area you observe and its local fauna. This is because we are not just looking for information on the presence of animals, but of differences in their usual abundance and/or behaviour.
Whether you are a sailor, fisherman, diver, surfer, photographer etc. your observations matter! Please share this project with your seafaring friends and colleagues.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and passion for the sea with Save The Med!
Thanks to Associació de Centres de Busseig de ses Illes Balears (ACBIB) , Federació Balear de Confraries de Pescadors, Asociación Mallorquina de Pesca Recreativa Responsable, Paleârtica Films y Asociación Vell Marí for their collaboration.
The marine habitats surrounding the little island Sa Dragonera are a lively place with a lot of different species. A variety of ecosystems and a great biodiversity are some of the reasons for why this area has been legally protected.We invite you to explore this area and train your memory with a DIY activity that allows you to make your own Sa Dragonera Memory Game. Download the template by clicking below the image. All the photos were taken by participants of the 2019 photo collaboration in the Marine Protected Area of Sa Dragonera. Have fun!
You can now download our colouring booklet "Colours of the Mediterranean"! A project made possible thanks to the time and talent of two illustrators and ocean lovers, Leti Lope and Beatriz Colom, who have made these spectacular drawings and donated them to Save the Med to help bring the sea a little closer to us and our kids while at home! Download the file by by clicking on the link below the image.
Buying local and seasonal products not only reduces our environmental impact, but is also crucial to sustain the community and prosperity of the islands.
Download the document below for a list of local cooperatives and vendors in each the Balearic Islands who sell and deliver locally produced foods and drinks, categorised by island and type of product.
This document has been developed by the team at the Save The Med Foundation in March 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak, in order to provide information and support local producers during the state of emergency in Spain.
We are still searching for additional vending spots for fish and seafood and will post updated information on this web page after having spoken to Federación Balear de Cofradías de Pescadores.
Note: The information may change at any time. Save The Med cannot assume responsibility for potential changes.
Save The Med’s education team has developed a digital version of our popular Dos Manos Schools programme which is now made available to everyone who’d like to engage their students or children in the topic of plastic pollution during and after these times of home confinement, no matter where you are!
The Dos Manos Digital Package if free of charge. It is aimed at students aged 14 and above, but can be adapted to younger kids as well. The Package is made available online in Spanish, Catalan and English and includes:
The materials are divided into three sections:
We would really appreciate to know how these materials are used. Please consider sending an email to email@example.com to tell us the manner in which you are using the material, the number of students that you are using it with and their age. Thank you!
Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 outbreak, we are postponing the Menorca-Mallorca Challenge Swim, initiated by swimmer Boris Nowalski and scheduled to take place in June with the aim of raising funds for Save The Med Foundation.
During such uncertain times as these, most of us will face new challenges which will need time to be fully understood and overcome. Given the circumstances, we all feel that postponing the project is the only right thing to do. A new date will be announced once the situation is more stable.
In the meantime, we hope you are all well and that you use these moments to reconnect with what matters most in life.
“Let this be a time to reflect on how we humans interact with mother nature. Let this be a time of change and a movement forwards. Let this be a time to heal planet earth.” - Boris Nowalski
Boris and the STM - team
Dear parents, teachers and students,
Looking for some worthwhile activities to do at home? The Changemakers Project is still going strong! Now more than ever, we can use this opportunity as a time for creativity, growth and community service. Our education team has come up with some suggestions on how to develop your Changemakers projects from home. Download the CHANGEMAKERS AT HOME booklet below.
This Monday we are starting our Save The Med LIVE Lessons!
Our experts will be live streaming, sharing their knowledge, experiences and more on specialist subjects.
Don't miss this opportunity to get involved in this interactive session where you can submerge yourselves with us under the sea!
Put us in your diary for this Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7pm on our You Tube channel Save The Med Foundation. See you live soon!
Dear friends and supporters,
As we write this, the world finds itself in an unprecedented situation of uncertainty and social distancing due to the outbreak of COVID-19. At the same time, we’re seeing how solidarity, union and love shared in the most creative of ways is connecting us, often unexpectedly deeper than we could have imagined.
While all Save The Med’s field activities have been cancelled during the declared State of Emergency in Spain, the environmental issues we are working on to solve remain, as does our commitment towards the Mediterranean Sea and the future of our children.
During this crisis the office is closed and the STM team are keeping busy working remotely from home to :
As the situation unfolds, we will keep you informed of any changes related to our work. Meanwhile, should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! We’re all here.
In the meantime, we hope you all stay safe, supportive of and connected with one another as we all navigate through these challenging times together.
With all our love,
The STM - team
Swimmer and ocean lover Boris Nowalski is pushing his body and mind to the limit to help save the Med!
This July swimmer Boris Nowalski will be taking on a challenge unlike any that he’s done before in order to help protect what he loves most: the sea. During the first week of July Boris will make an attempt to cross the channel of Menorca, starting in Cala en Bosc in Menorca and swimming non stop all the way to Cap des Freu, close to Cala Mesquida in Majorca, a total of 40km and estimated +12 hours! Why? He is determined to fundraise 20.000€ to help enable Save The Med to continue with our work!
“The sea is what gives me life.” Boris says. “During the 20 years that I have lived in Spain I have spent countless hours swimming along the Majorcan coast, and I have seen the deterioration of the sea with my own eyes. Over time there’s less and less fish and the Posidonia meadows are shrinking while the amount of plastic pollution is increasing. The Mediterranean is dying. That’s why I’ve chosen to support Save The Med Foundation. I want to do what I can to make a difference and make people to see that we really must do something to help save the Mediterranean Sea.”
Follow Boris as he takes on this challenge via social media @mallorca_open_swim and support him and Save The Med’s work by making a donation here. Company Promo Packs are available! Get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!
The raised funds will help us to ensure the continuity of the ‘Animal Oceanographers’ programme, which aims to protect some of the Mediterranean Sea’s most fragile marine species and habitats.
In February the Association of Nautical Companies of the Balearic Islands (AENIB) celebrated their General Assembly and held, for the 13th year in a row, their annual award ceremony during which Save The Med Foundation received the award for Social contribution. We are very honoured and wish to thank AENIB so much for this recognition!
24th of February 2020
Save The Med are honoured to be selected as winners of the Onda Cero Environment Award. We'd like to thank the jury of Onda Cero and all our funders, collaborators and volunteers without whom none of the work done would be possible.
"This award belongs to all the people that have a love for these beautiful islands and a vision for a future full of hope for our children." - Brad Robertson
2019 has been a year of change - for us and for the world as whole - and as a new decade begins so does a new journey in the name of Mediterranean Marine Regeneration!
Last year, in Asociación Ondine’s last annual report we wrote that… “In a world faced with numerous human imposed threats of global scale requiring urgent change, we have come to a tipping point where our actions today, or the lack thereof, will determine our legacy and our children’s tomorrow. A tipping point in which we are expected to find the courage to step up our game, to reconsider our definition of wealth, to embrace a transformation of ourselves and of society as we know it, and to rewrite our future together. In such times, passivity and stagnation are not an option. If we want to see a change, we must begin by changing ourselves.” And so we did.
Manifesting these intentions has been our main focus throughout 2019 and the transition from Asociación Ondine to Save The Med Foundation has been a first and necessary step in this process.
All the work done is made possible thanks to our the unconditional support of our families and the help of our awesome volunteers, students, Changemakers, members, funders and collaborators who ensure the continuity of STM’s work! Our heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you for sharing this journey with us! You are #GenerationSaveTheMed!
January 7th 2020
Save the Med is inviting students to be part of a positive wave of change in the world of marine regeneration. This year the Changemakers Project will have three main parts to it.
1. The Changemakers Project
We invite students from Mallorca, aged 15 - 18, to form teams and develop ideas that can help reduce plastic consumption. By implementing their projects students will help ignite a wave of change in their communities, and in May they will submit their projects to Save the Med Foundation. Click here to find out more about the type of projects we're looking for and download the informational leaflet to learn more and participate.
2. The Changemakers Exhibit
An event where all teams can come together! Students from all over the island will get together to present their projects to the public and discuss solutions to plastic pollution. Students will have a chance to view each other's projects, network, learn from each other, inspire and be inspired. Our team will view the projects and make a final decision before announcing the team which will join us for an expedition onboard the Toftevaag!
3. Changemakers At Sea
The team with the most impactful project, evaluated by a panel of scientists and educators, will be announced during the Changemakers Exhibit and rewarded with an unforgettable expedition experience in July. For one week, students will help our scientists study marine life and human activities at sea, all the while gaining knowledge and skills to become true Ocean Ambassadors when they return.
Most of the sharks and rays of the Mediterranean face an elevated risk of extinction. Living in coastal waters and growing to over 1.5 metres long, angel sharks are at risk from fishing and habitat degradation.
Three species of Critically Endangered angel sharks are present in the Mediterranean – Sawback Angelshark Squatina aculeata, Smoothback Angelshark Squatina oculata, and Angelshark Squatina squatina. With over 20 coastal states and territories, the complex nature of the Mediterranean creates further need for highly collaborative action to build capacity for angel shark conservation. In this context, the recently launched Mediterranean Angel Sharks: Regional Action Plan provides a framework for conservation action for angel sharks in the Mediterranean.
Save the Med Foundation has contributed to the development of said Action Plan, that has been led by the Shark Trust and has counted with the participation of an array of organisations from within the Angel Shark Conservation Network and across the Mediterranean, as well as with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the Specially Protected Areas Regional Activity Centre (SPA/RAC). This roadmap is designed to focus efforts to help restore these enigmatic species to robust populations in the region.
Read the full press release here and download the Action Plan below the image.
The project will be carried out in the islands of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, and includeinformation about the entire water cycle: from the origin of the aquifers to the treatment of desalination plants and plants for water management by the administration, and finally, possible actions by citizens as water consumers.
On November 20th 2019 Bea Johnson, the pioneer of the Zero Waste movement, visited Mallorca for the first time. During an exciting event at Trui Teatre, organized by Viveco and Save The Med, Bea taught us how to reduce waste in our homes and lead a more minimalistic and environmentally friendly lifestyle. She shared her experiences based on her home country, but also showed us that her method is applicable anywhere.
So that all of us who live on the island can apply the knowledge shared by Bea to our own lifestyles, we have gathered information about some companies from Mallorca that offer products which facilitate a zero waste lifestyle, and which collaborated with us during the event. By sharing this brief Zero Waste Guide with you, we hope that you will more easily find alternatives to single use plastic as well as creative ways to reduce your waste.
We also invite you to send us information about other shops in the Balearic Islands that promote products that are reusable, returnable and sold in bulk.
Palma de Mallorca, Tuesday, 19 November – In a shared effort to highlight growing public concern for declining shortfin mako shark populations, local conservation group, Save the Med, and global marine conservation non-profit, Project AWARE®, are bringing the voices of more than 26,000 concerned ocean enthusiasts from around the world to the attention of fisheries managers ahead of critical decisions taking place at the meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) – 18-25 November – in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
“Years of inaction to protect declining mako sharks is increasingly a cause for worry among the public, in general, and the dive community, in particular. We are here today to urge fisheries managers to acknowledge our concerns and heed scientific advice for makos, before it’s too late. One thing is clear to us all: postponing action is no longer an option. It’s high time to shift the focus from short-term economic interests to the long-term sustainability of marine ecosystems.” says Brad Robertson, Save the Med Foundation Co-Founder.
This week, at their 26th Regular Meeting, member governments of ICCAT are considering fishing restrictions to protect Atlantic shortfin mako sharks. Since 2017, ICCAT scientists have advised that landings from the seriously overfished North Atlantic population should be banned and have warned that the unprotected South Atlantic population is at risk for following the same path.
Spanish fleets consistently land more makos than any other country. Despite repeated warnings about mako overfishing, the EU has failed to propose the scientific advice at ICCAT meetings or even limit set an EU limit on mako catches. Progress for mako conservation at this week’s ICCAT meeting depends on the European Union reconsidering its stance and instead supporting the limits that scientists advise.
“The population assessments made by scientists are clear: North Atlantic mako sharks are facing collapse and a ban is needed to turn the tide. We need to start thinking of makos like we do other endangered species, such as sea turtles or monk seals. Makos are still present in the market and on our tables; we're still eating them! It must stop,” comments Gabriel Morey, Save the Med Foundation Co-Founder
In August, the EU co-sponsored a successful proposal to list mako sharks on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). As a result, CITES Parties will soon be required to demonstrate that mako exports are sourced from legal, sustainable fisheries. The IUCN classified makos as Endangered on the IUCN Red List in March.
Project AWARE and its Shark League coalition partners have appealed to fisheries and environment authorities in all ICCAT Parties to work together to ensure scientific advice is immediately heeded, in line with government obligations under both ICCAT and CITES. More than 25,000 divers and ocean enthusiasts who added their voice to Project AWARE’s #Divers4Makos petition are backing the Shark League appeal.
“Fisheries Ministers making decisions at ICCAT are all public servants, and we want to ensure that they hear, loud and clear, the message that the international dive community, including over 25,000 #Divers4Makos supporters: protect mako sharks NOW!” adds Ian Campbell, Project AWARE Associate Director Policy and Campaigns.
Project AWARE®: Focused on connecting community action with policy change, Project AWARE is a global movement for ocean protection powered by a community of adventurers. Project AWARE is an international registered non-profit organization and action member of the Shark League for the Atlantic and Mediterranean Coalition (www.projectaware.org).
Shark League: With support from the Shark Conservation Fund, the Shark League of the Atlantic and Mediterranean advances responsible regional shark and ray conservation policies – Members include Shark Advocates International, The Shark Trust, Ecology Action Centre and Project AWARE. (www.sharkleague.org)
Save the Med: By combining cutting edge marine research with educational community projects Save The Med Foundation works for Mediterranean marine regeneration by bridging the gap between science and community. Through collaborations with local stakeholders the organisation focuses on the development of efficiently managed marine protected areas and the prevention of plastic pollution. (www.savethemed.org)
November 8th, 2019
Yesterday we celebrated the opening of the exposition ‘Dragonera Blava’ which will be open to the public until end of November in the Townhall of Andratx.
We wish to thank everyone who contributed and made this event possible; the talented artists Emma Glinski and Nicholas John Taylor who created the immersive photo collage, Eduardo Miralles and Javier Peréz de Amezaga Tomás who shared their artwork, all the participants of the PhotoCollab 2019 who contributed their images, the collaborators who supported the event including Marilles Foundation, Bebidas Puig, Hotel MomPort, Aico Audiovisuales, Money Doo and of course the Ayuntamiento de Andratx.
October 30th 2019
A photographic collaboration conducted throughout the summer of 2019 brought together over fifty individuals from the area of Andratx, who contributed their time and photography skills to highlight the beauty and values of the Dragonera Island and its Marine Protected Area.
Between November 7th to November 30th a photographic collage composed of their photographies and created by Emma Glinski will be exhibited in Andratx Townhall, in Sala de Plenos. The vernissage will take place November 7th at 19PM, and the exhibition will be open to the public Monday to Friday 9.00 - 13.00 until the end of the month.
Visit the exhibition to to discover the beauty of this Marine Protected Area and learn about the historical and current efforts to protect the Natural Park of Sa Dragonera and its' marine environment.
October 15th 2019
This summer we launched the PhotoCollab project highlighting the protected area of the Dragonera Island with the support of the Marilles Foundation.
The crowd sourced collection of photos above and below water from over fifty participants do not only document and help us raise awareness about the importance of the area, but also show the benefits of collaborative advantage.
All participants of the PhotoCollab project are winners. Their photos will be included in the database of species in the protected area and be combined into a large collage that will be exhibited in November, allowing the public to learn about the crucial values of marine protected areas in general, and Sa Dragonera in particular.
In October, they were invited onboard Falcao Uno for a day out at sea visiting the marine protected area and talking about the importance of local communities in the lasting protection of MPAs.
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. “
Save The Med works towards the creation of an efficient network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), including marine reserves. We believe that involvement of local communities is key to achieving lasting marine protection and are launching a new local leadership project which aims to engage local communities in the care and protection of their local MPA. With the support of Marilles Foundation, this pilot project will be implemented in the Sa Dragonera 2019/2020.
Photo collaboration - Because we can achieve more by working together!
To launch this new project, we invite you all to join a unique 'PhotoCollab' focusing on the Sa Dragonera marine reserve. This photographic collaboration, contrary to a competition, encourages people to join forces and together participate in the active care for their marine reserve.
The photo collaboration will reveal Sa Dragonera marine reserve’s fascinating life through the creation and exhibition of a big collage of photos, sent in by the participants and composed by the local artist Emma Glinski. In addition, your photo will feature in the marine reserve’s species database, showcasing Sa Dragonera’s richness and biodiversity.
Starting 2017 we have developed a close collaboration with the marine research organisation Alnitak, developing and implementing collaborative outreach and research projects together.
We're truly grateful for our joint expeditions and the close partnership that has evolved between our organisations, and are all incredibly excited for what the future holds - an even closer alliance as we welcome Ric, Jasmine and the Toftevaag volunteers to the STM team!
We’re joining forces and bringing together our collective years of experience, amazing projects and the outstanding enthusiasm of our united teams, for a more efficient way to reach our common objectives! Watch this space!
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 AvantArte.com sold out in seconds. The following day, the regular edition's 90 examples of the diptych sold out in under a minute through Pejac.es.
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.
PEJAC www.pejac.es // www.instagram.com/pejac_art
AVANT ARTE www.avantarte.com // www.instagram.com/avant.arte
SUBEN ART MANAGEMENT www.subenysuben.com // www.instagram.com/suben_art_management
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!
The Night of San Juan #ZeroWaste initiative was started a couple of years ago at the beach of Portixol by a small group ocean lovers who felt an urge to turn this highly polluting event into a magical night where humans celebrate in harmony with nature. With your help, we are spreading it to involve many different parts of the island! By showing that this night can be celebrated without polluting our beaches we aim to put a stop to plastic pollution and its' negative consequences.
To do this we encourage people from all around the island to join forces with us by organising a waste free San Juan night with your friends and family on your local beach. Anyone can join! Individuals, families, groups of friends, companies, neighbourhood associations, NGO’s etc.
And it’s all very simple: Invite your loved ones to celebrate Night of San Juan and agree that you will use reusables instead of using single-use items. Organise fun activities, competitions, music or a small beach clean if you'd like, and make sure to upload your photos with the hashtag #nitdesantjoanresiduzero.
Visit the website www.nitdesantjoanresiduzero.org for tips for a waste free celebration!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Recently The Balearic Government and Save The Med's work for the creation of Marine Protected Areas was featured in a short film created by Estrella Damm. Take a look below and read more about the project and the value of marine reserves here.
"It would have been impossible to set up 11 marine reserves without majority support from the citizenship"- Toni Grau, Head of Marine Resources, GOIB.
Since its' foundation in 2012, Asociación Ondine has grown steadily with a rapid expansion taking place over the last few years; an expansion that reflects a pressing global need to urgently and actively protect, restore and regenerate nature and wildlife. To respond to this growing demand and to the continuous growth of our organisation we are very proud to announce a change in status and name, which will help us to expand our work and outreach as well as to better reflect the evolution of our organisation.
We are now Save The Med Foundation!
Working for Marine Regeneration
In a time where the world is facing some of the biggest challenges known to human kind, we believe that dreaming big and aiming high is the key to eventually overcome them. It is no longer enough to speak about marine conservation and work to preserve decayed marine ecosystems in their current state. We need to do all that's in our power to restore and regenerate these ecosystems and allow them to thrive as they once used to.
With a big name come big responsibilities
Needless to say, our new name, Save The Med, sets the bar high and motivates us all to work even harder and to achieve even more by expanding our local work in the Balearics through collaborations with grassroots organisations in other areas around the Mediterranean.
While the Ondine spirit and the beloved Ondine Shark will remain in our hearts, it's with excitement that we take on the challenges that lie ahead of us and welcome you all to join us on the next part of our journey and the rising of Generation Save The Med ; a generation made up of individuals, organisations, students, teachers, families, company owners, employees, creators, influencers, scientists, volunteers, ocean lovers... defined not by their birth year, but by their passion for the Mediterranean Sea and their willingness to change their lifestyles to help regenerate it. Thank you for being a part of it.
The STM - team
We are proud to share with you our Annual Report of 2018!