Festival showed marine forests of Sagres and Vila do Bispo to more than 100 people

Event attracted people from different countries

More than 100 people participated in the first Festival of Marine Forests, organized by the Center for Marine Sciences (CCMAR) and the University of the Algarve, which took place in Vila do Bispo and Sagres between the 15th and 20th of May.

The event had national and international participants, coming from countries such as Spain, Brazil, United Kingdom, Poland, Italy and Holland.

Activities included visits and fieldwork in the intertidal coastal zone, collection and observation of algae and identification of species, dynamic and interactive lectures to disseminate the uses and applications of seaweed in areas such as art, cooking, agriculture, sustainable technology and conservation.

«This citizen science initiative aims to bring the Algarve community closer to scientific knowledge about marine communities, which are not visible in our daily lives, such as submerged forests in the ocean, but which are home to emblematic biodiversity in the Sagres area and which is urgent protect", according to the University of Algarve.

Coordinated by Ester Serrão, a professor at the University of Algarve and a researcher at CCMAR, «the initiative was widely supported by the local community (families, schools and associations), who showed great interest in the festival and the activities offered».

The event, part of the program “Impulsos Jovem e Jovens FOSTEAM@SOUTH”, financed by the PRR, had the support of 12 volunteers, with a partnership established with Docapesca, the support of the Municipality of Vila do Bispo, as well as the support of the Portuguese Navy.

According to Alexandra Teodósio, vice-rector for Internationalization and Sustainable Development and responsible at UAlg for the PRR Impulsos FOSTEAM project, this event intends to become a regular festival in Sagres.

«In this way, in addition to supporting training and research activities, the beauty of underwater life can be celebrated by making it accessible to all», he said.

In Alexandra Teodósio's opinion, «this is only possible with the partnerships of the University of the Algarve, Vila do Bispo City Council and Docapesca, which are crucial for the development of the UAlg facilities in Porto da Baleeira».