PROYECTO M.A.R.E.S.

  • Country:
    Spain
  • Start year:
    Underwater works in 2005, association in 2009
  • Location:
    El Puertito de Adeje, Tenerife
  • Size (ha):
    10
  • Area Type:
    Spain
  • Type of protection:
    Marine stewardship

PROYECTO M.A.R.E.S. (Manejo de Áreas Reservadas y Ecosistemas para la Sostenibilidad – Reserved Areas Management and Ecosystems for Sustainability) is based on the recovery of the subtidal ecosystem in “El Puertito de Adeje” bay. The Sustainable Ocean Association in collaboration with a local dive center have recovered the balance of the original marine ecosystem thanks to the elimination and control of a sea urchin population.

Projecto M.A.R.E.S managed to recover the balance of the original marine ecosystem in El Puertito de Adeja bay in Tenerife, thanks to the control of the sea urchin population. The algal cover has been recovered in the bay and many species such as juvenile green turtles and angel sharks have returned.

Area

  • Keystone species present: Sargassum spp.; Cymodocea nodosa
  • Fauna species reintroduced: Green sea turtle (Chelonia midas), Angel Shark (Squatina squatina)

Scope

  • Description: We perform sustainable management of a marine area of 100,000 m2 in "El Puertito de Adeja" bay. We managed to recover the balance of the original marine ecosystem thanks to the control of the sea urchin population. The algal cover has been recovered in the bay and many species such as juvenile green turtles and Angel Sharks have returned and are now frequent in the area. Marine stewardship is a model that can have beneficial effects on the marine environment in the long term.
  • Aim: Encourage, support and conduct environmental education. Promote, support and carry out research and conservation projects. Collaborate with public administrations and companies linked to the marine environment.
  • Vision: The microreserve is based on the sustainable management of a concession in the public domain and uses the model of terrestrial stewardship transferred to the marine environment created to regenerate the ecosystem and use of resources in order to serve the longest possible term.
  • Accomplished in 10 years from now: Put in place a public concession to control the uses of the area;<br /> Increase the protected area to the adjacent bay;<br /> Establish a classroom/interpretation centre in the fishermen village;<br /> Improve the protection of the endangered species, specially the green turtles.<br />
  • Uniqueness: Puertito Adeje hosts one of the only 4-5 juvenile green turtle colonies in Europe and is commonly visited by angel shark, a CR species. El Puertito is the first marine microreserve in Spain trying to use the concession of the marine public domain to establish a stewardship project.
  • Results so far: • 12 underwater video conferences with education centers throughout Spain (maximum of 120 education centers).<br /> • 3 responsible diving workshops<br /> • 20 weeks Honu project involving between 20 and 50 education centers in weekly observation activities<br /> • Development of a Geographic Information System for Puertito Bay <br /> • Weekly transects for sampling the evolution of populations of algae and fish stocks<br /> • Discover program with scientific activities (tablet frequency sighting key species)<br /> • Control populations of sea urchin (Diadema antillarum)<br /> • Designing a system of food supplementation for benthic elasmobranchii
  • Other characteristics: Community involved, Education, Research

Exchange

  • Inspirational value: The project would inspire other Scuba Diving companies and local communities to replicate the model and create new microreserves around the coast.<br />
  • Experience you would like to share: Work on respect for the species, waste control, control of cruise ships, overfishing and other violations of civil and social behavior of the marine environment, awareness of the importance of the project.
  • Experience you would like to gain: Develop a new perspective in the public concession of marine areas in Spain in order to promote non commercial concessions aimed in the conservation of the coastal ecosystems.
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