Isabel Sousa Pinto
Casulo Unipessoal Lda
Sea Forest: Sea Forest Portugal
Global awareness of the poor condition of the seas has been rapidly increasing recently and initiatives like reducing plastic litter and stopping overfishing are getting more support. These are good and sustainable actions. However, sustainable actions are not enough to fix the ocean. Restorative actions are needed - more life needs to be added to the ocean to compensate losses. That is exactly what “SeaForest Portugal” is all about.
The world’s shallow coastal areas, where sunlight penetrates, are the cradle of the ocean. Here the seaweed forests grow while supporting all other life in the ocean. It is an undisputed fact that the seaweed forests along the European coastlines are in sharp decline. This is resulting in a loss of important ecosystem services, including CO2 sequestration, fish abundance, biodiversity, and bioremediation of excess nutrients. The need for urgent action is even more important in Portugal since here it is a prevailing threat that some genetic groups of kelp species are at risk of being lost forever.
This project will develop innovative methodologies for planting out seaweed (Seaforestation) in the Portuguese sea through a combination of lab and field experiments, together with the development of citizen science actions for mapping marine forests of brown algae in Portugal (mainland and archipelagos) and education and outreach actions.
- Fundo Azul, Ministério do Mar