The Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO-CSIC) will coordinate Observadores del Mar in the North Atlantic area
The great territorial coverage of the IEO coastal centers and the experience of its scientific teams, together with the contributions of citizens, will allow us to improve knowledge and management of marine resources on the coast of Galicia and the Cantabrian Sea.
06/10/2024 We are happy to announce that the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO-CSIC) has assumed coordination of Observadores del Mar in the North Atlantic area! A new stage now begins that will include a large number of performances in the North Atlantic territory. Among them, and with the aim of increasing knowledge at the local level, meetings, seminars and workshops will be held with different actors in the territory. Images and data contributed by citizens about different phenomena that affect different groups of organisms are collected from the platform. All this data is validated by the scientific teams of each project and transferred to national and international repositories, which provide information on the distribution and status of the populations of various species, a fact that makes it a key tool for monitoring, knowledge and conservation of marine biodiversity. Observadores del Mar thus becomes a very useful instrument that, in addition to generating new knowledge jointly with citizens, complements the information obtained in the expert monitoring programs of marine biodiversity on our coasts, to contribute to compliance with the directives of national and European management and conservation. In addition, it functions as a surveillance and early warning system for some phenomena that occur in marine ecosystems, such as the effect of climate change (the expansion of species with warmer thermal affinities, episodes of mass mortality), and other impacts due to pressure of human activities on the marine environment such as the introduction of exotic and/or invasive species. Eva Velasco — IEO researcher and coordinator of the marine citizen science program in the North Atlantic area— states that: “Galicia and the communities of the Cantabrian Sea have always been linked to the ocean and, due to previous experiences of marine citizen science In the area, we know that the potential for participation is very high and we trust that new collaborations and many observations will soon emerge. Three Sentinel Observatories are already participating in our area and we hope that throughout 2024 many other centers will join this type of collaboration.” Joaquim Garrabou – ICM-CSIC researcher and coordinator of Observers of the Sea – has highlighted: “the importance of having the IEO teams to coordinate the implementation of a citizen science program in the northern part of the peninsula. This program, as occurs in other areas of our coastline, has the main objective of completing and complementing marine biodiversity monitoring programs at the national level, as well as promoting marine citizen science as a tool for raising awareness and creating knowledge throughout the region. Spanish coast.” Image: Felimare cantabrica in the intertidal zone of the Cantabrian coast | Photo: Eva Velasco / IEO-CSIC