Save the Med is an organisation based in the Balearic Islands working for Mediterranean marine regeneration. Through its team and a wide network of volunteers, it develops and implements marine conservation projects, community initiatives and educational programmes. We speak to Brad Robertson, president and co-founder of Save the Med Foundation.
What’s your background, and how did you arrive in Mallorca?
I grew up on the east coast of Australia with many years diving on the Great Barrier Reef with very inspirational scientists. This is where my passion for the sea was forged. Lucky for me we decided to move to Mallorca, not knowing how many incredible experiences were waiting for me in the Balearic Sea. I arrived in Mallorca ten years ago with my amazing wife Bea – with no contacts or plans, but with open minds.
What is Save the Med?
STM is a Mediterranean marine regeneration organisation. Our work is science- based and we focus on two areas: pollution and marine protection, with science, education, outreach and policy change within both focus areas. We believe in the power of local people catalysing positive change, and through our work we build networks with like-minded NGOs, rescue centres and individuals.
What do you see as the challenges of the Balearic Sea?
Human beings are definitely the biggest challenge in any conservation-based action. Our diverse traits and various objectives create a complex ebb and flow of values and morals – or a severe lack of them. A collective understanding that we are part of nature and not aside from it, that’s the key to solving all social and environmental issues.
What is your most memorable experience beneath Balearic waters?
I am completely in love with the Balearic Sea, and it has given me some of my most memorable underwater experiences ever. It’s a location that deserves international recognition and protection for its biodiversity, considering the Mediterranean is one of the sickest seas in the world. My most memorable experience here to date has been diving with our multimedia team filming blue fin tuna, potentially thousands of them, for sure too many tuna to count. Exciting, spiritual and hugely motivating! Check out the video here:
Quick test for sea lovers
A book: Designing Regenerative Cultures, Daniel Wahl.
An image: Rich culture and rich biodiversity.
A marine species: Responsible, local, traditional, artisanal fishermen. Just as endangered as many of the true marine species, and definitely a group of people we need to support!
A benchmark organisation or person: Brett Jenks, RARE.
A beach: Avalon
A sentence that defines you: "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go"— T. S. Eliot.
Are you an optimist, a realist or a pessimist? I see myself as a realistic optimist.