A few years ago, I quit my office job to work in the field of ocean conservation. I jumped on an expedition and spent time out in the open ocean, learning about marine ecosystems and how they sustain life on the planet. I never regretted a single moment, especially after getting a job for a marine science organization called Alnitak. I fell in love with their magical boat, the Toftevaag, a 100 year-old Norwegian ketch, transformed into an oceanographic research vessel. Every summer, scientists and volunteers from all over Europe come together on the Toftevaag to investigate sperm whales, dolphins, seabirds and sea turtles in the Balearic Sea, sailing around Mallorca and Menorca. Recently, the crew has been recording the impacts of plastic pollution on animals like the loggerhead sea turtle, as they can frequently become entangled in floating driftnets and plastic bags. To help raise awareness about the issue of marine debris, Alnitak will be screening documentaries and inviting the public on-board their ship, all during Menorca’s first sustainable and plastic-free festival, on the 28th, 29th and 30th September. In collaboration with Proyecto Libera of SEO Birdlife with Ecoembes, the crew will talk about the impacts of plastic pollution and take part in “1m2 por las playas e los mares” – a large-scale, citizen-science, beach clean event. The ship is now open to visitors in the Port of Mahon. Anyone with an interest or passion for the sea is welcome to join us! A more in-depth account of Alnitak’s research will be published in CIBI on the 11th October.
What is it like on-board the Toftevaag? Follow this link to find out more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbbPGR199Gk
Follow our Instagram: @alnitakmission
Menorca’s sustainable festival: https://www.brunchmenorca.com/en-gb/home
Sign-up to the beach clean here: https://proyectolibera.org/
By Jasmine Spavieri