Department of Sustainability and the Environment
Vice-president Ribot: “it is very important to promote activities that encourage citizen science and help raise awareness of the fragility of the marine environment and the need to protect it”.
The Parc Natural de sa Dragonera has hosted a citizen science activity co-organised by the Consell Insular de Mallorca, Observadores del Mar and the Xarxa Dragonera Blava, with the support of the Certamen Audiovisual per a la Conservació de la Mar Balear (MARE), the Conselleria de Medi Ambient del Govern de les Illes Balears, the Marilles Foundation and Save the Med.
The aim of the workshop, entitled Sa Dragonera submerges in citizen science, is to introduce the concept of citizen science to all those interested in contributing to scientific knowledge and discovering the Natural Park of Sa Dragonera from a different perspective. In this activity, aimed at the general public, 18 people participated, who, after a theoretical approach, were able to go snorkelling in Lledó cove in the Dragonera Natural Park.
The aim of the workshop is to find relevant species for scientific projects, take a photo of them and upload it to the Observers of the Sea platform (https://www.observadoresdelmar.es) and provide useful data for research. Anyone who wants to can publish their marine photographs on this platform throughout the year. The cameras have been donated by MARE, the Audiovisual Contest for the Conservation of the Balearic Sea.
Citizen science is an opportunity for non-scientists to do research and contribute to the investigation of a specific area; in this case, the marine environment of a protected area. This type of proposal connects the public with a branch of science and allows data to be generated jointly with the research teams.
The councillor for Sustainability and the Environment, Aurora Ribot, stressed that “at the Department of Sustainability and the Environment, we believe it is very important to promote activities that encourage citizen science and help raise awareness of the fragility of the marine environment and the need to protect it”. “Sa Dragonera and the waters that surround it show that this Natural Park is a paradise of biodiversity, which we must all contribute to preserving together so that future generations can enjoy it”, added Councillor Ribot.
Sandra Espeja, the coordinator of the marine citizen science programme in the Balearic Islands at the Marilles Foundation (Observers of the Sea), reminded the audience that “everyone can contribute their bit. People who are not professionals in the scientific field, of all kinds of backgrounds and ages, can take part and contribute to knowledge within science”.
Since the creation of the Freu de sa Dragonera marine reserve in 2016, there has been a considerable increase in the number and size of fish. Yaiza Santana, biologist and coordinator of Save the Med’s Dragonera Blava Network programme, explained that, with this activity, “we have before us a unique opportunity to document the evolution of life in the marine reserve, but without support, we won’t be able to capture everything that is happening there. That is why citizen science and these types of activities are key to being able to see and show what the process of recovering the marine environment is like”.
More information about the Parc Natural de sa Dragonera: https://dragonera.conselldemallorca.cat/