Outputs and Projects: Research Grants and Projects

MIMAR+

MIMAR+ logo


Project MIMAR+ seeks to consolidate and expand the advances in knowledge generated with the previous MIMAR project. It involves agents from the regions of the Canary Islands, Madeira, Azores, Cape Verde and Senegal to cover the Marine Observatory dedicated to evaluating the impact generated by invasive species, harmful algal blooms (HABs) and the changes produced by global warming and human activity in marine habitats.

Under the title “Monitoring, control and mitigation of marine organism proliferations associated with human disturbances and climate change in the Macaronesian Region“, MIMAR+ proposes common monitoring, control and mitigation methodologies. In addition, it will export all the scientific knowledge acquired and implement an ambitious training and awareness program on the changes that are taking place in the marine ecosystem and its conservation.

The Vice-Ministry for the Fight against Climate Change of the Government of the Canary Islands is the leader of the project, which has a consortium made up of 18 organizations, among which is the Canary Islands Institute of Technology, a public R&D&i center attached to the Ministry of Economy, Knowledge and Employment of the Canary Islands Government.

Funded in the framework of INTERREG MAC 2014-2020 Programme.

Whale Tales Project

Whale Tales project - logo

The mythic sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) has long been inspiring tales, taking the ocean to all corners of the world. Yet, this species is listed in the Red List of the IUCN as ‘Vulnerable’, mainly due to population reduction caused by commercial whaling carried out until recently. This apex predator may thus be considered an ambassador of the marine ecosystem, playing as bioindicator of the oceans’ health and being an ideal vector to raise awareness in the general public for the promotion of marine habitats. The Whale Tales Project aims to increase our scientific knowledge on the habitat use and health of the sperm whale in the insular environments of the Macaronesia, with a strong link with the general public. A multi-disciplinary and innovative approach from the field of movement ecology and ecophysiology/toxicology will be used, covering effort-related visual surveys, photographic-identification (of the animals’ tails), satellite-linked biologgers, skin biopsies, or plastic tracers. The awareness and stimulation of good practices for the general public, as well as the project dissemination, will be based mainly on multimedia tools (such as near-real time visors) and will involve the local community/stakeholders. It is expected that the Whale Tales Project will acquire valuable information that is still in the ‘darkness’ of the depths, which will promote positive attitudes towards conservation in general.

IMPLAMAC

IMPLAMAC logo

Project IMPLAMAC aims to create an observatory that generates quantitative and qualitative data on the impact of microplastics and different pollutants on the beaches of the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Madeira and the Azores archipelagos. To this end, a programme will be developed to monitor microplastics and different pollutants in the sands and waters of the beaches of the four archipelagos, highlighting the degree of pollution and its evolution. Studies will also be carried out on the incidence of microplastics in some types of fish and their effect on trophic chains and ecosystems. The project also contemplates contributing to the improvement of public knowledge on plastic pollution, including the sensitization of the population, carrying out important actions of dissemination, training and environmental education on the marine spaces of the four archipelagos.

Funded in the framework of INTERREG MAC 2014-2020 Programme.

GoJelly

The objective of the GoJelly project is to develop, test and promote a gelatinous solution to microplastic pollution by developing a TRL 5-6 prototype microplastics filter (GoJelly) for commercial and public use, where the main raw material is jellyfish mucus. In doing so, the consortium addresses two environmental issues with one approach by removing the commercially and ecologically destructive sea and coastal pollution of both jellyfish and microplastics. This innovative approach will ultimately lead to less plastic in the ocean, municipal demand (and thereby competitive prices) for jellyfish raw material to fill the “mucus-need” by filter developers, and in turn more jobs for commercial fishers in off-seasons. The by-products of the GoJelly biomass have other uses as well, ensuring that GoJelly also delivers a green innovation, resulting in novel, valuable resource for the food and feed industry as well as agro-biological fertilizer for organic farming. The GoJelly prototype products will be tested and demonstrated in three different European seas (Norwegian, Baltic and Mediterranean), by a range of stakeholders, including commercial fishers and industry partners. Tying it together, the project will also ensure the possibilities for broader European promotion and utilization of GoJelly at the local, regional and global level by delivering a socio-ecological methodological toolbox for forming and implementing policies.

CleanAtlantic

CleanAtlantic aims to protect biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Atlantic Area by improving capabilities to monitor, prevent and remove (macro) marine litter. The project will also contribute to raise awareness and change attitudes among stakeholders and to improve marine litter managing systems.

The main objectives of the project are:

  1. To draw a picture of current situation, existing knowledge, data and initiatives in the Atlantic regions and definition of gaps.
  2. Review of current systems to monitor and record marine litter, and to deliver protocols, tools and indicators to fill monitoring needs.
  3. Development of modelling tools to predict the origin, circulation, and fate of marine litter, and elaboration of regional maps of hotspots of accumulation using models, remote sensing technologies, and aerial, surface and underwater unmanned systems.
  4. To address prevention by developing best practices to reduce inputs from fishing and port sectors.
  5. To tackle removal of marine litter by implementing initiatives of fishing for litter, to reduce the presence of “abandoned lost and otherwise discarded fishing gears” on the sea-bed, and to develop best practices for routine beach litter clean-up by local authorities.
  6. To deliver training and awareness activities addressed to various audiences and to transfer project outputs to competent authorities and key stakeholders to improve management and facilitate MSFD (Marine Strategy Framework Directive) implementation.