SEATY Project In Golfo Aranci 0 Comments
Knowing our sea to protect it. This is what the Worldrise non-profit organisation aims to do, while developing projects for the conservation and enhancement of the marine environment, based on awareness, creativity and education, under the slogan of "We are ocean positive people!”, change makers driving real positive impact for the oceans.
Thanks to the support of Fastweb, a company committed to develop an increasingly connected, inclusive and eco-sustainable future for everyone, the SEATY (from the merger of Sea and City), pilot project was born in the splendid setting of Golfo Aranci, the first Local Marine Conservation Area established in Italy.
The non-profit organisation Worldrise, with the patronage of the municipality of Golfo Aranci and the Sardinia region, has circumscribed a sea surface 1300 metres long and 100 metres wide (between the Baracconi beach and Cala Moresca, easily accessible from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites). An area of conservation, where it is now forbidden to sail and fish in order to make it suitable for swimming all year round.
As explained by Mariasole Bianco (president and co-founder of Worldrise, marine biologist, well-known science communicator and founder of the non-profit organisation), the project strategy includes exploration, education, awareness and scientific research. Furthermore, for those who visit or for those who live in the area of marine conservation, they have the opportunity to get to know our sea, its biodiversity and learn how to take care of it. “The sea is our sunken garden: the Mediterranean, in particular, occupies less than 1% of the earth's surface and yet is home to at least 17,000 marine species (a concentration 10 times greater than the oceans), but it is also the most impacted by human actions” she says, illustrating the project’s target.
The experiment took off in June 2022 and its results were already visible at the end of the summer. The first result in Golfo Aranci, with the fundamental aid of the Port Authority, thanks to the buoys and navigation and fishing bans in this small sea portion, was surprising: the marine biodiversity of the coast part from Baracconi beach up to Cala Moresca, it has already multiplied in a few months, the sea is cleaner, healthier, richer.
Schools of coloured fish swim on the seabed, invisible just some months before, because they were decimated by pollution and fishing, and the leaves of oceanic Posidonia are shining. This important marine plant produces oxygen and acts as a nursery to a myriad of life forms which find within its leaves their shelter from predators. Posidonia is also the favourite place for the Pinna Nobilis or Noble Pen Shell.
A new awareness is formed: the sea can be saved without constraining it in an enclosed space, but instead one can experience the sea and at the same time protect it. We had a sign of it during the lockdown, when fauna and flora amazed us with how they had positively reacted without the devastating presence of man.
The project SEATY is realised by Worldrise in the framework of the 30x30 Italy campaign, which aims to protect at least 30 percent of the Italian seas by 2030. Not only through "Marine Protected Areas" (MPAs), but also through more agile innovative solutions, i.e., "Local Marine Conservation Areas", of which SEATY has now become a flagship.
Mariasole Bianco continues: "When we think of the sea, we believe that it is infinite, and therefore that it can be exploited in any way. But this perception is finally changing: the sea is large, but its resources are not unlimited. We must safeguard them with all our strength".
The SEATY pilot project in Golfo Aranci aims at precisely this, representing an effective and easily replicable model in other areas of the Italian coast. The next SEATY will be created in Capo-Testa, Sardinia, and then in Salina and Milazzo, in Sicily. Because "our sea is a submerged garden".
We look forward to asking Mariasole for an interview for our blog next summer for an update on one year's work from the beginning of the project and we are sure that we will hear from her on the achieved wonders in our splendid sea of Golfo Aranci!
“We’re the only species that have crapped up the planet and the only species that can clean it up.” (Dennis Weaver)
Written by Daniela Toti
Photo Credits by Worldrise - Igor D'India