The team at Save the Med have always known Mallorca was a special place, and now it’s official! The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has declared a large part of the waters around the Balearic Islands an area of special relevance for the survival and conservation of sharks and rays, also known as ISRA – Important Shark and Ray Area. This specific designation involved the work of 180 international scientists, including elasmobranch biologist Gabriel Morey, co-founder of Save the Med Foundation. Read the full story HERE.
Last month, Save the Med closed another year of Changemakers action with the Changemakers Expedition. The project is open to all students living in the Balearic Islands aged 15-18. Students are challenged to develop an idea to reduce the use of single-use plastic and send it to the Save The Med team. The five teams with the most impactful projects are then invited to join a marine science expedition exploring the wildlife in the Mediterranean Sea. These students were invited on-board the Bonnie Lass. During the expedition, they explored the Tramuntana coastline, studied and identified Mediterranean species, learnt techniques in microplastic analysis and marine science. Congratulations to all the students who completed the unique work experience!
Save the Med Foundation are participating in a new project named ‘Tackling single-use plastics in the Adriatic region
Sharing is caring! Save the Med Foundation are participating in a new project named ‘Tackling single-use plastics in the Adriatic region through public and private action’ through which they support other entities in adapting their Plastic Free Balearics Certification Programme and implementing it in new areas together with ‘MedWaves’ and ‘Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ)’. Find out more about their work to reduce plastic HERE.
School’s out for summer! This spring, nearly 1,000 students and 80 teachers joined Save the Med’s Dos Manos School Programme, an initiative which explores the issue of plastic in the marine environment and the effect this has on our marine life and ourselves. It’s offered to local schools with the aim of reaching and engaging as many students, teachers and parents as possible with marine conservation, ultimately helping to shape an environmentally caring and proactive local population and future generation. The recent team worked hard to categorise and remove plastic pollution from beaches all around Mallorca. The Top 5 most commonly found items included: microplastics, cigarette butts, bottle lids, ear bud sticks, and ropes and strings. Learn more about here.
On the 1st of June Save The Med organised the fifth ‘Blue Dragonera’ forum to involve local communities in the proactive care of the Sa Dragonera Marine Reserve in the Balearic Islands. The event marked the beginning of a new, action focused phase of this project, as the participants prioritised previously shared ideas and objectives, and developed plans for the first actions to be taken by the ‘Blue Dragonera Network’, or in Mallorquin: Xarxa Dragonera Blava. Watch event footage HERE.
Mallorcan students are taking action to prevent plastic pollution. More than 200 students have joined Save The Med’s education project “Changemakers At Sea” and worked in teams to come up with their own ideas to prevent plastic pollution. The teams behind the most innovative ideas participated in a workshop with the STM team to help put their ideas into action. All participants will get a chance to meet and share their ideas in June, during the Changemakers Event, where the most promising ideas will be announced and the students invited to join Save the Med’s marine science expeditions. Learn more HERE.
In Mallorca, 155 nursehound sharks (Scyliorhinus stellaris) have been born in captivity from shark egg cases found by local fishermen, as part of the collaborative project “Small Sharks – Stellaris Action” in which Save The Med Foundation participates. 16 of the larger pups have now been released in the Cabrera National Park and more will be released in other protected areas the near future. The scientists hope to use the knowledge gained through this pilot project to help recover other shark species in the future.
Recent follow-up studies on marine life in the Sa Dragonera Marine Reserve in Mallorca indicated that since Save The Med‘s proposal for the creation of the marine reserve was implemented by the local government 6 years ago, the average biomass has multiplied by x7 in the deep internal waters and by x3 in the external waters of the marine reserve. According to The General Directorate of Fisheries and the Marine Environment, of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, these biomass values are comparable to other areas with more than 15 years of protection!
Save The Med is calling out to businesses in Mallorca’s hospitality industry: the Plastic Free Balearics Certification Programme is launching 15 FREE certifications to help companies reduce single-use plastics between now and September 2023! This unique opportunity includes the assessment of each entity’s current use of single use plastics, guidance for reducing and eliminating single use plastic products and a certification based on their level of accomplishment. Find out more here.
Looking to learn about Mediterranean marine life but lack time? Check out and subscribe to the Save The Med YouTube channel. Here you can access numerous short, high-quality videos with epic underwater and terrestrial footage and key information about the conservation status of an array of different marine species. For example, click here to view a Greater Amberjack patrolling the marine reserve of El Toro. An inspiring way to learn about Mediterranean marine biodiversity.