New Sentinel Observatories in the Balearic Islands
The Sentinel Observatories Network is a key piece in the Sea Watchers community. Now, three new centres are joining to promote marine citizen science in the Balearic Islands.
The Sentinel Observatories are organizations such as diving centres and clubs, associations and entities performing marine and coastal activities, that collaborate with Sea Watchers and acquire a commitment: to monitor their nearby coast or diving area, to follow biodiversity and marine environment changes throughout the year. Each organization chooses the scientific projects and challenges to collaborate with, and the experts from Sea Watchers teach them how to perform scientific protocols and census, thus strengthening the relationship between the scientific team and the volunteers.
Starting this summer, three new diving centres join the Sentinel Observatory Network in the Balearic Islands: Albatros Diving, Skualo Diving-watersports and Tramuntana Diving & Adventure. From Marilles Foundation, our colleague and coordinator in the Balearic Islands, Sandra Espeja, has organized training sessions for several projects chosen by the centres, together with IMEDEA scientists Iris Hendricks, an expert on the Nacras project; Fiona Tomas and Julia Máñez, experts in Invasive Algae and Seagrass in reproduction; and Matías Calvo, from the Balearic IEO centre, an expert in Decapod Crustaceans. After training, the three clubs have signed the commitment to be Sentinel Observatories, becoming an official part of the network. Welcome to Sea Watchers!
Thanks to the alliance with the INTEMARES project of Fundación Biodiversidad, we will expand the network of Sentinel Observatories to the 5 marine demarcations: starting at the Levantine-Balearic Islands, we will continue through the Alboran Sea, the Canary Islands, the North Atlantic and the South Atlantic, growing the marine citizen science community to monitor the health status of marine species and ecosystems, especially in the areas of the Natura 2000 Network.