Oceanário de Lisboa and the Oceano Azul Foundation present the 3rd edition of the Ocean Conservation FUND

150 thousand euros towards the conservation of marine invertebrates

Oceanário de Lisboa and the Oceano Azul Foundation launch the third edition of the “Ocean Conservation FUND”, investing 150 thousand euros in projects dedicated to the conservation of marine invertebrates. This private fund, which invests exclusively in the conservation of marine biodiversity, has already given a total value of 250 thousand euros towards conservation projects since its first edition.

Under the theme "Marine Invertebrates. Protecting the future of the sea," this year's edition will support conservation projects targeting species belonging to this vast group of animals. It is known that about 97% of the total number of animal species are invertebrates. However, it is estimated that only 10% of these species are known. Invertebrates form key populations in all ecosystems on the planet, particularly in marine ecosystems. However, despite growing conservation efforts, there are still major gaps in the knowledge and conservation of this vast group of marine species, many of which are threatened by overfishing, habitat destruction, climate change and pollution, among other threats.

According to Núria Baylina, Curator and Director of Conservation at Oceanário de Lisboa, "Species such as the Mediterranean Slipper lobster or red coral have been overexploited and populations have declined drastically over time. Many other species of marine invertebrates, such as sea urchins and sea cucumbers, have also been exploited for human consumption, however, the state of their populations is unknown. These are some of the reasons why this group of animals deserves special attention."

Now in its third edition, the FUND has already completed two distinct conservation themes. The first edition, under the theme "Rays and Sharks. From Darkness to the Light of Science," financed three projects worth a total of 100,000 euros. The second edition, "Marine Species Endangered. From Science to Consciousness," financed a total of 150,000 euros towards two conservation projects.

Through the third edition of the FUND, Oceanário de Lisboa and the Oceano Azul Foundation seek to not only to promote the protection of marine invertebrate species through funding and supporting scientific knowledge, but also to raise awareness of the importance of ocean sustainability and the communal responsibility we all share of ocean conservation.

The applications will be open until July 7 and must be submitted at www.oceanario.pt/conservacao/fundo-para-a-conservacao-dos-oceanos/