USING CITIZEN SCIENCE TO PROTECT MONK SEALS
Fondazione Acquario di Genova Onlus
Fondazione Acquario di Genova Onlus, Italy Genoa Aquarium Foundation’s mission is to raise awareness and educate the public on conservation, management, and responsible use of aquatic environments. It does so by organizing educational programs, exhibitions, conferences, environmental awareness campaigns, and applied scientific research projects, and through collaborations with public and private bodies.
The project: Our grant will be used to promote Mediterranean Monk Seal conservation in the Pelagos Sanctuary and the wider Mediterranean Sea and will also be invested in a pilot project to trial the use of bio-activators to improve the water quality in Genoa’s polluted Ancient Harbour.
Our activation: While in Genoa, members of the team met with Elena Valsecchi, PhD from the Marine eDNA Group, MaRHE Center at the University of Milano-Bicocca. Prior to this, Elena connected us with Giacomo Tavecchia from IMEDEA in Mallorca and we visited some of the historic sites of the Monk Seal in the Mediterranean. In meeting Giacomo, he explained the process for identifying locations of endangered monk seals through an innovative and non-invasive eDNA process, and how we as a sailing team could contribute to this work in a citizen science capacity.