REFORESTATION OF GORGONIAS
We have turned Barcelona into the first maritime city in the Mediterranean to carry out an active study and restoration of its seabed with gorgonians, endangered and vulnerable animal species known for their importance as providers of habitat for other species.
The Catalan capital is a pioneer in this endeavor thanks to the “Gorgonia Barcelona” project, an initiative that emerged with the European Union’s ResBios program and is developed and promoted by Belong to Sea – together with scientists from the ICM-CSIC (Institute of Marine Sciences-Spanish National Research Council) and FECDAS (Catalan Federation of Underwater Activities).
The main objective of “Gorgonia Barcelona” is to contribute to the analysis and understanding of the seabed in order to improve its preservation and increase biodiversity, while raising awareness in society about the current situation of seas and oceans. This project is presented as a close and tangible initiative in the short term.
Specifically, this project focuses on a species that demonstrates resilience in complex environmental settings and is essential for preserving the biodiversity of marine ecosystems.
Gorgonians are crucial for the conservation of the seabed, as they provide habitat and refuge for other species, similar to trees on land. Additionally, they help improve and repopulate the marine ecosystem of our city. The larval and juvenile stages of numerous species, such as gilt-head bream, sea bass, and seahorses, thrive better in areas with gorgonians.
The project consists of three phases to aid in the increase of gorgonian populations along the Barcelona coast, which show high resilience in urban environments.
Restoration techniques based on transplantation are employed:
- First phase: Monthly dives planned at a depth of 19 meters, involving Belong to Sea, the ICM-CSIC, and divers from FECDAS. The latter assist in organizing the dives and ensuring the technical component.
- Second phase: Focused on the maintenance and recovery of gorgonians in experimental aquariums at the ICM.
- Third phase: Dedicated to the transportation and return of gorgonian colonies to the sea, followed by monitoring the recovered and transplanted colonies to assess their survival and growth.
It is worth noting that this scientific project actively involves citizens, serving as an exceptional way to convey the concepts of sustainability, objectives, and mission of the company to the workers.
If your company wishes to pursue an environmentally committed strategy, it is essential for employees to experience and participate in projects like this to enable them to drive and promote those values.
There is only one way to bring about change and engage society: to live a real experience of environmental protection and understand the urgent need to care for our surroundings.