In this video interview, presented at the annual meeting of the Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy Platform, Oliviero Mordenti explains one of the strategies adopted by LIFEEL for the conservation of this extraordinary species.

LIFEEL as an ambassador of Ocean Literacy in the Mediterranean

Ocean Literacy stands for a Europe-driven policy with a twofold aim: to raise people’s awareness on the importance of the marine and coastal resources and a sustainable use of them, and to enlighten the need for engagement and pro-activity both at individual and community levels to protect them for the benefit of the human life. This is the only way to sensibilize and mobilize everyone toward a more sustainable approach to the uses of the marine resources, through the involvement and participation of the public and more science-oriented dissemination actions.

We all must become actors of the big challenge which awaits us, towards more sustainable anthropic pressures along the coastal and marine area throughout the world, and this together with researchers and institutions.

On 19th and 20th of June, an annual event organized by DG MARE of the European Commission took place in Ravenna (Italy). The two-days event gathers all actors and stakeholders of the Blue Economy allowing them to debate and reflect about guiding themes, and 2022 has been the year of Ocean Literacy. The event gathered about 700 people in presence, also more than 1000 people participated from remote to celebrate Blue Economy. Among those in presence was Virginijus Sinkevičius, the Commissioner for Environment, Ocean and Blue Economy himself.

During the event, LIFEEL showcased through a roll up the features of the project, and a representative from the scientific component, Prof. Annalisa Zaccaroni from University of Bologna, Campus of Cesenatico, was also there to explain the project’s main goals and activities and to disclose to the visitors some interesting aspects of a mysterious species, the European eel, a fish species which literally travel the ocean and the Mediterranean Sea to get to going up to the rivers’ sources for reproduction. Also, a very interesting video-interviews to Professor Oliviero Mordenti was broadcast in the institutional booth of the Emilia-Romagna Region, which as an institutional partner of LIFEEL hosted the representative.

Moreover, beyond this dissemination and promotional action about the mysterious Anguilla anguilla and its journey across the seas and rivers, the European Maritime Days allowed the LIFEEL team to create a joint team participated by researchers and regional advocates, which did actively take part to a session of the first Ocean Literacy summit held in the morning of the 20th of May, entirely devoted to the local approaches to the Ocean Literacy and especially to the actions taken in the Mediterranean area in this field.

This allowed not only to showcase the promising results of some interesting scientific activities of this project, as for instance the reproduction in captivity of Anguilla anguilla breeders and the release of specimens with the involvement of local schools and public for sensibilization purposes. Also, the attendance to the EMD event by a joint representative has been in itself a welcome interim milestone toward an enforced collaboration between researchers and institutions.

Passion and proactivity were clearly enlightened in their interventions, and the public response was very encouraging. Next step for LIFEE will be, among other goals, to further strengthen this collaboration, and to go beyond towards this direction. We ask everyone and all of you to give a contribution to this process of knowledge, to restore biodiversity in our seas and rivers.

Sustainability for us is not only a responsibility for all and everyone at an individual and collective level, but is also, and mostly, a big opportunity for resilience!

25th of May, 2022

Elena Tagliani – Advocacy and Communication Officer Regione Emilia-Romagna