Rescue entangled turtles AND REDUCE GHOST GEAR AT SEA!
If you’ve been following the latest news in marine conservation, you may have heard of the term “ghost FAD”. If you’ve been at sea, you may even have come across a few of them while navigating, but weren’t necessarily quite sure what they were.
“Ghost FADs” are a type of abandoned, rudimentary fishing gear, often made up of plastic bottles and fishing line. They can be easily spotted as coloured bottles, bobbing up and down in the water. It’s a sight our crew knows too well.
While monitoring the waters around Mallorca, Save The Med has encountered a shocking number of these drifting artefacts. Unfortunately, they are a death trap for species like loggerhead turtles, who curiously approach the floating gear in search of food and become badly entangled. Last season alone, shipboard surveys on our flagship vessel have retrieved over 100 such artefacts, while Fundación Palma Aquarium cared for a record number of entangled turtles.
Besides being one of the greatest threats to marine biodiversity, abandoned fishing gear is a hazard for safe navigation and for divers. It is also often associated with illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing practices (IUU), and therefore becomes a threat to artisanal fishing fleets.
It was therefore out of absolute necessity that our “Mediterranean Ghost FAD” project was born, a collaborative initiative to help study and reduce this hazard. We are building a Mediterranean wide network and fleet of sailors, yachts, dive centres, rescue centres and fishing boats – each involved in the stewardship of our seas. And you can join too!
All who join will receive useful protocols on how to safely rescue entangled turtles at sea, and how to collect and send us essential data about drifting ghost gear found along the route.
Although the project is still relatively new, it already counts on the partnership of key local organisations such as Ports IB, Balearic Port Authority, Balearic Fisheries Federation, Fundación Palma Aquariums marine animal rescue center and more! The conservation of sea turtles has global significance and recently, the project partnered with Accobams, an important European agreement for the protection of Mediterranean biodiversity. Other project partners have an international range and include players such as OceanCare, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Proyecto Libera by SEO Birdlife and Ecoembes and Fundación Reina Sofia. Furthermore, Save The Med is part of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, the world’s largest cross-sectoral alliance to help solve ghost fishing. And now, we’re calling out to all Mediterranean seafarers, and yourself (!) to lend a hand!
Joining the network is simple and free of charge, which means that YOU can immediately become part of the solution to ghost fishing gear! To find out more about the project webpage visit http://ghostfads.org and register to become part of the fleet, receive the latest, news, updates and resources!
If you want to see things for yourself and meet the team, Save The Med will soon be running some open-air exhibition days on-board our research vessel Toftevaag. More information is to come!
Keep up to date with related events and news:
Instagram: @savethemed @savethemedexpeditions
Calling all Students and parents!
take action to fight plastic pollution from home
Since its foundation, Save The Med had worked to reduce plastic pollution through education events, programmes and projects for individuals, schools and companies. Starting this year, we are offering Plastic Reduction Workshops for parents of school students as well! The new workshop for parents is called “Single use plastic free at home and in school” and is delivered in collaboration with FAPA Mallorca (The Federation of Associations of Parents of School students).
The workshop aims to support parents of school students and provide tools to facilitate a move towards a low impact lifestyle together with their children. The online workshop consists of three parts, two of which are done in the home, previous to an online meeting. It includes educational videos, self assessment resources to map your plastic use, a joint analysis, discussion and solutions talk, proposals for alternative products with lesser environmental impact and more! Before the end of the workshop, together with STM, 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.
Contact email@example.com to learn more and to sign your parent association up to the workshop! Limited availability!
The CHANGEMAKERS ‘JUNIOR’ Project is coming soon!
You might have already heard about Save The Med’s annual Changemakers Project which invites students aged 15-18 from the Balearic Islands to join the fight against plastic pollution and get a chance to participate in Save The Med’s research expeditions at sea. But did you know that a new version of the project for younger students, aged 8-14, is just around the corner?
This year, at the request of many schools and students who have expressed a wish to do more on this topic, Save The Med’s education team are excited to announce that a new version of the annual Changemakers Project for younger students will be piloted this spring! In contrast to the original project, which is open to students aged 15-18, this new version will be open to all students in Mallorca aged 8-14. By developing and implementing their projects students will help raise awareness and help ignite a wave of change in their schools and communities, for the reduction of plastic pollution and protection of the marine environment.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to receive more information and/or to sign your class up to the pilot project!
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! Visit www.changemkaersatsea.com ! Deadline for project presentation is May 3rd.