We review, month by month, the most oceanic news of the year that is about to end. From scientists full of light, women with scales, tributes to brave sailors or citizens looking at the sea. We start
JANUARY: Science Needed
The month of January brought us an award for the work of three scientists. The BBVA Foundation awarded Anny Cazenave, Johm Alexander Church and Jonathan Gregory for their observations of the sea via satellite from space and for developing mathematical models to accurately describe the global change in sea level. The process cannot be avoided, they explain to us, but it can be controlled. The sea level can grow from a quarter of a meter to more than one at the end of the century, as they have pointed out and the cause of the thermal expansion of the oceans and glaciers is the emission of greenhouse gases.
FEBRUARY: What we eat
According to the Eurobarometer that analyzes the eating habits of Europeans, Spaniards are still the ones who consume the most fish. 92 percent of Spaniards eat products derived from fishing and aquaculture monthly, followed by Portuguese and Swedes, with a percentage of 87 percent.
Once again, Spain remains above the European average with a weekly consumption of fish that stands at 41 percent, one point below the previous year.
The filmmaker Marta Solano signed in March a documentary, Women in the Sea, which portrays the lives of the couples and wives of the fishermen on the coast of Cantabria. These are women who have been a fundamental pillar in the family in the absence of the father, always on board, and who have been part of the fishing process working as fish farmers or sellers. Through their testimonies, they relate the economic, labor and emotional relationship with the sea.
APRIL: Know how to protect
In April we received the 30 × 30 report: Guide for the protection of the oceans, an investigation of more than a year carried out by leading scientists from the University of York, the University of Oxford and Greenpeace. The scientific community asks in this document that at least 30% of the world’s oceans be declared marine sanctuaries by 2030. Currently, less than 3% are protected. This report shows exactly how this 30% can be achieved to protect all marine life offshore.
MAY: Ship stories
The Naval Museum of San Fernando showed during the month of May an exhibition dedicated to the San Telmo ship. The ship was part of the South Sea Division expedition that left the port of Cádiz on May 11, 1819. Its destination was the American continent and the mission, the sending of troops – a total of 1,400 soldiers – and resources to the viceroyalty from Peru, where the threat of uprisings in favor of the independence of the Spanish Crown colony was becoming apparent. The ship disappeared in Antarctica without a trace. His 644 crew died.
Manu San Felix, one of the most reputed biologists in the world, signed in June an audiovisual that was neither National Geographic nor the BBC, as you would expect. San Felix was responsible for the announcement of Estrella Damm beer that this year wanted to send a message to save the Mediterranean. Ecology and dance so that they are slogan regularly, Mediterraneanly be more Mediterranean than ever. According to a WWF (Word Wildlife Fund) report, 70,000 to 130,000 tons of plastic are dumped in Europe every year.
Julio brought us this year hopeful news for one of the species we love most in Just the sea. The Costa Brava would become the second natural refuge of the world dedicated to dolphins. The NGO Nova Eucària studied the possibility of taking 22 specimens from centers in Catalonia from captivity. This natural refuge will allow dolphins to live in semi-freedom: they would live in the sea but in a space delimited with nets and with a team of professionals who will take care of them, since dolphins born in captivity cannot be totally released.
Popular actor and activist Richard Gere embarked on August 9 at the Open Arms, the ship that transported 121 immigrants in the Mediterranean waiting for a port to allow them to dock. Gere’s arrival on the ship with groceries made everyone focus their attention on the humanitarian crisis after Italy and Malta denied the ship’s entry.
SEPTEMBER: Diving that counts
In September, the Vigo scuba diver J.J. Candán became the best underwater photographer in the world, the second time he won this award. The piece with which he achieved this distinction, entitled The return, is a dystopia about a barren and polluted planet where there is no place for the human being. His film, 4 minutes and 20 seconds long – had the obligation to adjust to 2-4 min. -, sought to raise awareness about “conservation and respect for nature, and the sea in particular.”
OCTOBER: Climate Indicator
Marine ecosystems have a new ally for their protection. We learned in October that the scientific platform ‘SIMBAD’ will monitor the situation of the Mediterranean Ocean Posidonia from space. In this underwater plant live more than 1,000 animal and 400 plant species and, in addition, it has become an indicator of the quality of coastal waters. They are, therefore, vital in the fight against climate change.
And because of climate change, in November we discovered that fish are going to the bottom of the sea in search of colder waters. After three decades analyzing these migrations, it has been confirmed that the transfer of the most heat-sensitive species to colder waters, while the warmest ones would be depopulated. An international team of scientists has analyzed more than three million records of thousands of demersal fish species (those that live in the lower part of the water column) and marine plankton (microscopic animals and algae) to determine how the change is affecting climate to the composition of the marine communities of the northern hemisphere.
DECEMBER: New projects
The Biodiversity Foundation will allocate more than 17 million euros in grants to various entities for environmental projects within the framework of the Action Plan for 2020, of the Ministry for Ecological Transition (Miteco). 6.2 million euros are allocated for initiatives to “improve environmental sustainability” in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, under the Pleamar Program. Almost 8 million euros will be allocated to “promote the ecological and fair transition” through projects that promote employment and the green economy and the rest, more than three million euros, are divided between the conservation of terrestrial biodiversity, with 1.5 million euros, and the marina, with 1.2 million.