The sentinels of the Mediterranean

Published 25.10.2022


The sentinels of the Mediterranean

The sentinels of the Mediterranean, a deep dive in the life of 3 heroes fighting for marine biodiversity.

As the health of the Mediterranean Sea reaches a new low, the Together for the Med network releases its first documentary, that aims to federate, raise awareness and mobilize around the conservation issues of the Mediterranean.

Meet Yassine – a Tunisian diver and oceanographer, Nicole – a scientist committed to Greek fishers, and Isaac – who campaigns for sustainable fishing in Spain. From North to South, from East to West, conservation issues are the same. Discover emblematic regions of the Mediterranean: Catalonia, the Kuriat Islands, and the island of Zakynthos. These ordinary heroes are inspiring, and the landscapes they work in are an invitation to travel.

"The Mediterranean Sea is subject to all kinds of pressures" observes Yassine, who gets ready to dive to study the health of the Tunisian seabed. "If we look at the evolution of fishing over the past years, it is clear that our future does not go beyond another 15 years" worries Isaac from inside his small fishing boat. "If we don't act now, biodiversity will continue to decline and the sustainability of the fishing sector will be compromised" says Nicole, as she measures the size of fish collected in the fishing nets of Markos, a Greek fisherman.

The Marilles Foundation is part of Together for the Med –a network of more than 45 NGOs, international organisations, research centres, private companies and foundations from all over the Mediterranean. Marilles' aim as an active member of this partnership is to export many of the good practices and knowledge that already exist in the Balearic Islands –such as the establishment of marine fishery reserves, seagrass legislation, and the success of collaborative projects such as the Balearic Sea Report, the Marine Citizen Science programme of Sea Observers and the MARE underwater photography competition –as well as to import and replicate solutions that have been successful in other Mediterranean regions, such as the implementation of specific measures to reduce the by-catch of vulnerable species (e.g. rays, sharks, turtles and seabirds) by the fishing fleet.

Aniol Esteban, director of the Marilles Foundation, says: "Marilles focuses its work on the Balearic Islands - to make to make it a world-leading example of marine conservation– but always with a Mediterranean perspective".

The production of this 30-minute documentary was supervised by BlueSeeds in partnership with IUCN Mediterranean and the visual communication agency ImagéO, thanks to the support of the MAVA foundation.

About Together for the Med

Overfishing, uncontrolled coastal development, habitat destruction, climate change, pollution: the Mediterranean is under numerous, serious threats. For nearly 3 years, the Together for the Med partnership has been leading impact projects funded by the MAVA Foundation in Mediterranean hotspots, to address these pressures. Members of the partnership are NGOs, international organizations, research centres, private companies, networks or foundations. With 46 partners from all around the Mediterranean, diversity is the strength of Together for the Med.

In 2022, in the wake of all the work they did over the past decades, they met and decided to write collaborative projects to find new financial partners to continue their conservation actions. To discover these projects, click here.

About the MAVA Foundation

The MAVA Foundation conserves biodiversity for the benefit of people and nature by funding, mobilizing and strengthening partners and the conservation community. The MAVA Foundation has been funding conservation projects in the Mediterranean for nearly thirty years.

The lifecycle of the foundation means that we will cease our grant-making by 2022. Leading up to this date, MAVA’s partners and staff are working together to deliver lasting conservation change for the benefit of people and nature.

About BlueSeeds

BlueSeeds works to increase the impact and efficiency of marine conservation projects. BlueSeeds was born after identifying the urgent need to increase the financial sustainability of marine conservation projects. For this, BlueSeeds supports marine conservation initiatives by 1) assessing the sustainability and impact of ocean initiatives, 2) building the capacities and skills of conservation managers, and 3) experimenting and implementing innovative sustainable financing mechanisms.

About the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation

The IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation works to bridge gaps between science, policy, management, and action in order to conserve nature and accelerate the transition towards sustainable development in the Mediterranean.