We Are Marine

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We Are Marine Tutorial

Great news from the EUROPARC Conference 2016.

This year, we are pleased to include in the program a specific Tutorial through which we could exchange experiences and learn more about Marine Protected Areas in Europe. Under the name “We Are Marine”, in this event we will explore how local communities and marine park managers can work together towards marine conservation. Likewise, we will discuss how we can integrate different users with different interests in managing a protected area on the sea, and specific examples about projects being implemented together with the local population. And, for this special occasion, we are happy to present two special case studies…

Seahorses in Mar Menor Costal Lagoon, Spain

On one hand we will get to know the strategy that Hippocampus Association follows to preserve one of the hidden treasures of the Mar Menor Coastal Lagoon: the long-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus). The lagoon is separated from the Mediterranean see by a twenty meter wide sandbar, it is a designated Natura 2000 site, and is a key habitat for this species.

The Hippocampus Association, within their efforts to conserve the long-snouted seahorse populations, has identified education and citizenship involvement as key factors on their way to success. Therefore, within their program, they carry out a big array of activities involving local communities, like seahorse monitoring programs with the participation of local volunteers, and the development of educational campaigns and communication initiatives.

So far, their achievements are outstanding. Among them, they have managed to get the support and collaboration of local fishermen and local residents, and reach agreements with national and international associations alike. Find out more about how this association is working to protect sahorses through this eciting program.

“Dolphins – connecting people!” in Kornati National Park, Croatia

Likewise, we will have the opportunity to learn about another exciting program been undertaken at Kornati National Park in Croatia. This place is also designated as a Natura 2000 site, and a Site of Community Importance (SCI) within the Habitats Directive for Bottlenose dolphin conservation.

Currently, a significant number of bottlenose dolphins are known to visit or reside in this area, However, the lack of financial and human resources has limited their study and the potential use of this species as a touristic resource so far. Likewise, the insufficient dialogue with local tour operators has deter the development of interpretation programs to be offered to the Park visitors. And taking into account the possible benefits that dolphin could bring to the local economy and to the park itself, this was a matter that needed to be addressed somehow.

In this regard, the Kornati National Park managers have recently found a solution through which, cooperating with local residents, they can offer benefits for Bottlenose dolphin conservation, local stakeholders and park visitors. A win-win situation that we will be only able to discover at the presentation “dolphins – connecting people!” at We Are Marine Tutorial.

You can have more information on this and other Tutorials and Workshop at the Conference website.
Don’t miss out! EUROPARC Conference 2016 is about to start. Join us.