The Balearic Sea is beautiful both above and below the waters. It is one of the most richly biodiverse areas of the Mediterranean. 20% of its waters are legally protected; It is home to more than 400 fish species; It provides 50% of all Spain’s Posidonia seagrass meadows; there is a resident population of sperm whales and dolphins; and bluefin tuna come here to breed. It is a source of leisure and happiness for many of us. It is the basis upon which the economic prosperity of these islands and people’s wellbeing depends.
During these days of lockdown, we all miss nature and crave being near the sea or even better at sea or in it. We’ve spent weeks at home seeing sunny days pass by, watching the day gets longer every evening, looking forward to when we will be able to go out at our favourite beach, cala or coastal walk, and reconnect with the sea.
Since our start in 2017, we’ve known that turning the Balearics into a world leading example of marine conservation will require having the Balearic society (even) more connected to the sea and more engaged in it’s conservation. We want people to fall in Love with the Sea, or what we call Enamarar – a new word merging sea (mar) with to fall in love (enamorar).
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Día mundial de la Tierra La diversidad de especies en un ecosistema sano evita la propagación de especies patógenas. #earthday #biodiversidad #biodersity #mediterranean #sea #enamarar @marillesfoundation #wildlife #wildlifephotography #underwater_world_ #underwater #blue #earth #nature #naturephotography #eivissa #ibiza
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Yet, getting close to the sea can also be a challenge for us terrestrial creatures. We understand that some people find it unnatural to put on a mask, and see with their own eyes what lies beneath the surface. If people aren’t comfortable going to the sea then we aim to bring the sea closer to people; and this is where multimedia and photography play a key role.
Under the lockdown we’ve launched the #enamarar initiative encouraging people to share a photo of the Balearic sea, to build a collective virtual aquarium and have a small window through which to enjoy the sea from home. Anyone can take part. You just need to share a photo on Instagram of the Balearic sea or coast: a fish, a beach, a shell, an unforgettable dive, etc. Tell us what it is, where was taken and what you like about it. Finally, add the hasthag #enamarar and tag @marillesfoundation. If you are not into social media or you have a private Instagram account then you can email us at email@example.com and we will upload it for you. We will draw for prizes, which include a diving course and mini field-guides of the Balearic fish. You can post as many photos as you want for the gallery but we will only allow one entry per participant for the draw.
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In the mid-term we are at the very early stages of an ambitious project to shine a light and reveal the beautiful landscapes and species that we find below the Balearic waters. A project that wants to use photography to show the Balearic Sea as it’s never been seen before. We are talking to a mix of actors around the islands to build a collective initiative joining forces with existing underwater photography competitions and defining the best way to pull ideas together. Watch this space for more updates on the project as it takes shape.
We are conscious that a big economic crisis is looming over the Balearics, and tourism will be badly hit, endangering thousands of jobs. We want to support and promote a sustainable recovery of tourism here, by revealing the beauty of these seas, organising a pan-Balearic underwater photography initiative. We want to see the marine environment at the heart of the economic recovery of the beautiful Balearic Islands.