Captain and scientist Ric with some of the recovered Ghost Fads. | Save The Med


All life on earth depends on healthy oceans, but efficient conservation and sustainable management measures require a robust scientific foundation to truly work. Citizen science has come to play a crucial role in the monitoring and protection of the ocean and there are several ways that YOU can contribute to Mediterranean marine regeneration while at sea!

1.Report lost fishing gear and ghost FADs (Fish aggregating device)

What’s the problem?

Lost ghost fishing gear drifts with the currents and poses an alarming threat to marine wildlife in general, and turtles and marine birds in particular through entanglement. Estimates indicate that there might possibly be over 40.000 Fish aggregating devices (FADs) adrift in the Western and Central Mediterranean Basin. A significant increase over only a few years time indicates an urgent need for the development of an international Action Plan.

How can I help?

If you find ghost FADs at sea, mark the date and exact location and if possible take a photo and send the information to Photos are especially valuable if you find text or brands on the bottles, as they can provide information of the origin of the FADs.

How do I recognise them?

Ghost FADs consist of one or more floating plastic bottles tied together with fishing rope and resemble floating rubbish.

2. Help us expand our Photo Identification catalogue of Risso’s dolphins

What’s the problem?

Risso’s dolphins are beautiful, highly intelligent and social creatures. However, very little is known about the Mediterranean Risso’s. In the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species they are classified as Data Deficient, meaning that we lack information in order to evaluate wether they need protection and define what type of protection that is. Therefore we are developing a Photo Identification catalogue of Risso's dolphins in the Mediterranean Sea.

How can I help?

If you come across a pod of Risso’s dolphins that approach your boat, you can capture photos of their fins and send them to Photo Identification is a very useful, non invasive research method that consists of photographing the dolphins dorsal fin (the fin on the back) from the sides. By studying these photos, unique marks that can be seen on each individual fin allow us to study the dolphin’s whereabouts, group sizes and social structure and fill important knowledge gaps.

That said, NEVER approach the dolphins yourself. Always stay at a safe distance, adapt your speed and follow all local and international regulations for whale and dolphin watching. Only take photo IDs if the dolphins themselves decide to approach your boat, and never follow them once they leave.

How do I recognise them?

Risso's Dolphins have white marks on their bodies.

Risso’s dolphins clearly differ from other dolphins by the white scars on their bodies. They tend to be between 2,5 - 4m, have a robust body, a bulbous-shaped head and no distinct beak.

3. Report any unusual sightings or marine wildlife after the lockdown

What’s the problem?

More than a problem, this is a theory that we are hoping to test!

During the confinement resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, all over the internet we have seen videos of marine animals said to be “reclaiming” their territory near coastlines, bays and beaches. Are these just false rumours or is marine wildlife really changing its behaviour? Right now we have a short window of opportunity to observe nature during a unique time in history.

How can I help?

To participate, use Save The Med's questionnaire (link found on the News section of to record any unusual observations from a particular area of the sea or coast. Add any photos you might have.

How do I know if an observation is “unusual” or not?

The only requirement we have for this particular study is that you must already be familiar with the area you observe and its local fauna so that you can know if what you are observing is a common sight during this time of the year or not, and in what way it differs.

Whether you are a sailor, fisherman, diver, surfer, photographer etc. your observations matter! Please share these projects with your seafaring friends and colleagues.

Thank you for helping us Save The Med!


Save The Med Foundation in collaboration with Es Racó de Ses Idees would like to invite you to join us for a free online screening of the documentary The Story of Plastic and a debate together with Dr. Nicolás Olea, one of the world's leading experts on the effects of plastic pollutants on human health. The film shows the truth behind the global plastic pollution crisis, discusses its social, environmental and health effects and presents possible solutions.

Registrate for free through the following link:

Attendees will receive two links by email:

• One link, which will be made available one week before the debate, to see the movie from home at any time you'd like.

• Another link to join the online debate, which will take place on Thursday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m.