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Projects to address 5 key Threats

The ocean Azores Foundation was set up to work to address the 5 key threats to the whales and cetaceans that exist in the waters of the Azores. With this in mind the foundation will look to projects that address these as a priority. Other projects for the community of the Azores will also be considered outside of this remit if deemed appropriate.

Threat 1: Lack of awareness
Threat 2: Declining whale numbers
Threat 3: Unsustainable tourism
Threat 4: Plastic waste / marine pollution
Threat 5: Ghost nets

Threat 1: Lack of Awareness
Project: 1 Oceano

Overall visitor and general awareness is incredibly low of the lives of whales and the threats that they face in the waters around the world. We are committed to bringing world leading awareness to their beauty and solutions that will help them thrive in the waters that surround us.

Ocean Azores Foundation
Blue whale

Threat 2: DECLINING NUMBERS
Project: WHALE TRACKING APP

So little is known about these majestic creatures of the deep, as we see and know so little about these gentle giants of the ocean. It is unknown where they go as they travel the globe. Our aim is to track them without impact upon their lives.

Threat 3: UNSUSTAINABLE TOURISM
Project: THE GOLFINO COMMISSION / WHS

1) The Golfino Commission aims to support work to look into tourist activities such as swimming with dolphins and evaluate their impact on the cetacean population in the Azores. More details to follow as this project is developed.

(2) Supporting The Whale Heritage Site (WHS) initiative. This is a certification programme established by the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA). WHS are outstanding locations where cetaceans ¹ (whales, dolphins, or porpoises)  are embraced through the cultural, economic, social, and political lives of associated communities, and where people and cetaceans coexist in an authentic and respectful way.

BaleiaDeBossas2
whales-870

Threat 4: PLASTIC WASTE
Project: Coming Soon

Single use is plastic is everywhere. And when they are done, inevitably it will end up in the ocean. Up to 31% of plastic exported from Europe for recycling doesn’t end up being recycled, a new study estimates (source World Economic Forum). It is estimated that over 8 millions metric tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean each year (source: National Geographic.)

Threat 5: GHOST NETS
Project: Coming soon

Entanglement in Fishing Gear and ghost netting is one of the most serious issues facing whales in the ocean. Whales are at high risk of becoming entangled in fishing gear. Once entangled, whales may drag and swim with attached gear for long distances or be anchored in place and unable to swim. Events such as these result in fatigue, and ultimately lead to death.

fish nets