Scientific research

Save The Med's research programmes aim to increase the current knowledge of potentially vulnerable species in the Mediterranean in order to protect them and their habitats. 

Mallorca Stingray Survey

Our main research focus has, up until 2016, been on the Stingray population of the bay of Palma. During the first four years of the organisations existence and before becoming Save The Med Foundation, we regularly managed stingray tagging with the aim of better understanding their nursery areas, mating habits, movement patterns, and the growth rate of individual rays.

The study concluded that the bay of Palma is indeed a vital area where the rays aggregate and, as such, is in need of preservation in order to ensure a continuously thriving stingray population.

The short documentaries A Ray of Light and A Ray of Light II, produced by David Diley, feature the Mallorca Stingray Survey and portray the story behind the foundation of Asociación Ondine, which in 2019 evolved to become Save The Med Foundation. You can watch them on our Vimeo and Youtube channel. 


Mallorca Stingray Survey

We're stronger together!

Starting 2017 we have developed a close collaboration with the marine research organisation Alnitak, developing and implementing collaborative outreach and research projects together, of which some are mentioned below.

We're truly grateful for these joint expeditions and the close alliance that has evolved between the organisations and are all incredibly excited for what the future holds - an even closer partnership as we welcome Ric, Jasmine and the Toftevaag volunteers to the STM team!

We are 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!

We're stronger together!

Bringing students onboard

In 2018 we launched the Changemakers Competition through which we bring school students and their teachers onboard for an unforgettable experience at sea during which they actively participate in our marine research projects. The projects include surveying of sea birds, marine animals, plastic pollution,  ghost fishing and satellite tagging of open sea marine species as part of a project named "Animal Oceanographers." 


Bringing students onboard

Animal Oceanographers

The "Animal Oceanographers" project is an expansion of the "Turtle Oceanographers" which has run since 2013 in partnerships with IMEDEA, the Balearic Island Coastal Observing and Forecasting System (SOCIB), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Stanford University, Tag a Giant, National Geographic Crittercam and Palma Aquarium, and with the support of Fundación Biodiversidad, Fundación BBVA, Fundación Reina Sofia - Proyecto LIBERA, CAIB and The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 

The tracking of selected marine species allows us to see where and at what depths the animals move, follow their migration route and learn 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 researchers 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, knowing the areas and the depths at which these animals forage and spend much of their time allows us to work with fishermen to change fishing practices to significantly reduce bycatch. 


Animal Oceanographers

Bridging the gap between science and local communities

All our projects include an multimedia aspect, where obtained footage is used in the development of engaging education and outreach materials that help bridge the gap between science and local communities. 


Bridging the gap between science and local communities