Welcome to the second blog in our series of ‘Foundations for Ocean Health.’ This time from 'Save The Med Foundation.' A project started by Australian born diving instructor Brad Robertson. After moving to the Balearic Island of Mallorca, Brad quickly became absorbed with the beauty and diversity of the Mediterranean Sea, and resolved to work with a network of like-minded people in order to conserve it for future generations.
Text: Peter Franklin
“The sea has a remarkable ability to recover, if we give it the chance”
- Brad Robertson, Co-founder and President of Save The Med Foundation
Save The Med Foundation is grassroots non for profit organisation based in the Balearic Islands that works with a devoted team and passionate volunteers to regenerate the Mediterranean Sea - one of the worlds most fragile marine environments. By conducting cutting edge marine research while bridging the gap between science and local communities through innovative, educational community projects we inspire action, invite collaboration and help shape a generation of active change makers.
Regenerating one of the most fragile seas on our planet
The Mediterranean Sea is an underwater paradise that hides a blue world full of beauty. Due to its location, with over 20 bordering countries and with a very limited connection to the open ocean, it is at the same time one of the most vulnerable seas on our planet. At a time when the world is facing some of the biggest challenges known to human kind, there is a global need to actively and urgently protect, restore and regenerate the marine environment and its wildlife. It is no longer enough to talk about marine conservation and work to preserve deteriorated ecosystems in their current state. We must do everything in our power to restore and regenerate these ecosystems and allow them to thrive as they once used to.
A community driven movement for positive change
But we can’t do it alone. While research projects allow us to better understand and protect vulnerable species, to achieve lasting change science depends on the informed actions of, and on collaborations with and between community members, stakeholders and policy makers. We firmly believe that the only way to approach the root cause of any human created problem and reach lasting results, is to involve those same humans into the solution of it. Therefore all Save The Med’s projects involve collaborations with individuals, fishermen, schools, businesses, NGOs and governmental institutions to develop and implement science-based, marine regenerative community initiatives and education projects focusing on Marine Protection and the reduction of Plastic Pollution.
Our projects include:
- the creation of a science - based network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
- the efficient surveillance and management of existing MPAs through the development of management tools, implementation of community leadership projects, collaborations with governmental bodies and stakeholders.
- Marine research expedition for the conservation of fragile marine species through satellite tagging of so called “Animal Oceanographers” that include turtles and Giant Devil Rays.
- the reduction of plastic pollution among households, companies and event organisers through collaborative project and policy change.
- increased awareness about plastic pollution through citizen science beach cleans, coastal actions, awareness events and campaigns.
- education and engagement of the young generations in the active care of the environment through innovative, solutions focused Schools Programmes and student led plastic reduction and awareness projects.
- the development of Immersive Education and Outreach multimedia projects which will bring the sea closer to those who would otherwise not get a chance to connect with it.
The yachting community could be at the forefront of marine regeneration
The yachting sector is one of the communities that we often collaborate with. It’s a sector that has incredible potential to contribute to the monitoring and regeneration of Mediterranean ecosystems. Think about it! Spending countless hours at sea, what better community is there to help scientists gather information from such an extensive area than the yachters?
Reporting observations of wildlife at sea, recovery of ghost fishing gear, turtle rescues, organisation of coastal clean up actions with crew and/or guests and the gathering of information about waste management systems in ports and marinas are only some examples of how yacht captains, crew and guests can get involved and help make a difference. Other examples include financial support through Corporate & Collective Partnerships donations of materials or of time and skills to the Foundation such as boat equipment and support with boat maintenance and repair.
The Yachting community is in a perfect position to help organisations like Save the Med to preserve the very environment they depend upon, and the sector has much to offer! Whether a boat owner, crew member or in a yachting elated business, there’s always something you can do and we would like to encourage everyone to join the movement for a positive change, whether it’s with Save The Med, or any other environmental organisations in your local area.
Let’s work together for what unites us; our love for the ocean and all its beings!
Learn more by visiting SaveTheMed.org. Get updates on our work by following us on social media @savethemed and check out some of our videos on our YouTube channel: Save The Med Foundation.
#GenerationSaveTheMed - A community driven movement for positive change
We wish to thank everyone who joins our quest and forms part of ‘Generation Save The Med’; a generation made up of individuals, organisations, students, teachers, families, company owners, employees, creators, influencers, scientists, artists, 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.