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Citizen Science 2024

Let’s start once again! The new campaign begins, with a new route: Barcelona-Tangier

These days the Citizen Science 2024 campaign by LIFE Conceptu Maris officially begins again, thanks to which the citizens most sensitive to the issues addressed by the project, after having attended an online training course, can board the ferries along one of the 17 routes available and thus contribute to the monitoring of cetaceans and turtles.

The main novelty this year is the opening of the route between the Spanish port of Barcelona and the Moroccan port of Tangier, carried out on board the GNV ferries. Since 2018, the route has been followed by the team from the University of Barcelona and, since 2023, in collaboration with the University of Valencia as part of Conceptu Maris. This is the longest route of the project (around 30 hours for each route), during which you pass through diversified habitats and have the chance to encounter many species. Starting from Barcelona, the route crosses the so-called “Cetacean Migration Corridor“, an area of special protection as it affects the migratory route of fin whales and also “hosts” other species of cetaceans, such as sperm whales, bottlenose dolphins and striped dolphins. The route then crosses the Alboran Sea, a poorly studied area but rich in cetaceans, where sightings of Risso’s dolphin and Cuvier pilot whales and encounters with large groups of Common dolphins are frequent.

Finally, before arriving on the Moroccan coasts, the route passes through the Strait of Gibraltar, an area where currents converge and nutrients accumulate which attract not only Mediterranean species but occasionally also Atlantic species such as killer whales. In addition to cetaceans, the Barcelona-Tangier route offers the opportunity to observe other species, such as the Caretta caretta sea turtle, and, especially near the Strait, various seabirds and migratory birds.