Nova Azul: A new vision of the ocean brings together guests from different areas

March 23 and 24, at NOVA School of Science and Technology

On the 23rd and 24th of March, at the NOVA School of Science and Technology (FCT NOVA – Campus da Caparica), NOVA AZUL will take place, a series of lectures and various activities related to the Ocean.

Conceived and driven by Leonor Pessanha, an Environmental Engineering student at FCT NOVA, who turned her passion for the blue horizon into an event open to the public, NOVA AZUL will bring together a distinguished set of speakers who will give voice to the most varied themes related to the sea and a new vision of the Ocean. The event is supported by MARE / ARNET and the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at FCT NOVA.

During two days different topics will be addressed, starting with scientific research, the sustainable exploitation of marine resources and threats such as climate change and marine pollution, conservation strategies and increasing the resilience of the Ocean, gender equality in access to education and employment, water sports such as sailing, diving and underwater photography, environmental education, and ocean literacy. Essential approaches to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and a Blue Society.

On the first day, March 23, highlights are a conversation moderated by Marta Martins (MARE-NOVA) on Challenges and Opportunities for Blue Growth and scientific lectures, led by MARE researchers.

Researcher Paula Sobral (ALPM, MARE-NOVA), a pioneer in research into microplastics and marine litter in Portugal and President and Founder of the Associação Portuguesa do Lixo Marinho, coordinates several national and international research projects on the distribution and abundance of microplastics in the oceans and coastal zones and their impact on marine life. “Plastic: looking and not seeing” is the theme of her lecture.

Ana Faria (MARE-ISPA) and Sílvia Lourenço (MARE-IPLEIRIA) closed the morning panel with lectures on “Climate Change: threats to marine ecosystems” and “Potentialities in the integration of marine invertebrates in multitrophic production systems”, respectively. Ana Faria, Ph.D. in Marine Ecology, has dedicated her research to the study of fish behavior and physiology, focusing on the impact of climate change on larval and juvenile stages. Researcher Sílvia Lourenço makes known the work she develops in the diversification of species for aquaculture, especially species with low trophic levels (echinoderms and bivalve molluscs).

In the second part of this first day, the intervention of Carla Dâmaso (Observatório do Mar dos Açores) stands out, since 2013 she has been working on marine environmental education at the Science Centre. Also from the Azores, comes Jorge Fontes (Okeanos – University of the Azores), mentor of the “PILOTtags” project, which uses non-invasive tools to study sharks and manta rays.

On the second and last day of NOVA AZUL has six speakers. It begins with the intervention of Francisco Lufinha, the world record holder for kite surfing and kite boating, who will address the theme of water sports as a spark for the preservation of the Ocean.

This is followed by a lecture by Norberto Serpa, better known as “sea wolf”. He was a fisherman, marine biology technician, professional diver, boat skipper, and for more than 30 years, a collaborator of the Department of Oceanography and Fisheries of the University of the Azores, where he worked with the world’s leading personalities in marine research. He currently crosses oceans aboard the sailboat “Taka Tres” with the mission of raising awareness and raising awareness of the importance of a more ecological and sustainable world.

It is up to João Rodrigues to close the lectures on this second day with the intervention entitled “House of Neptune”. A contributor to National Geographic and director of Chimera Visuals, João Rodrigues is a filmmaker, photojournalist, and marine biologist specializing in natural history and conservation. He was also the first Portuguese to win first place in the prestigious London Museum of Natural History competition. He has been diving in the icy waters of the Nordic seas and the coral reefs of the tropics and has made it his mission to tell stories of the oceans through images.

The first edition of NOVA AZUL also features lectures by Gigi Torras (Daughters of the Deep), Alba Iglesias (Sea Riders Azores), Carla Palma (Hydrographic Institute), Bernardo Queiroz (Mercedes Benz Oceanic Lounge) and João Macedo (Surf Academy and Hope Zones Foundation).

NOVA AZUL will also have an exhibitor area – MARE, ARNET, Instituto Hidroográfica, Associação Portuguesa de Lixo Marinho, Daughters of the Deep, Sea Riders, Ecozoic, FCT NOVA Surf Center and Eco Pick – which will provide participants with interactive activities and experiences. There will also be several giveaways, among others, dolphin watching, surfing lessons, and diving baptisms. You can follow the news from NOVA AZUL HERE

About MARE
MARE – Centro de Ciências do Mar e do Ambiente – is a center for scientific research, technological development and innovation with competences for the study of all aquatic ecosystems, on land and at sea. It promotes the sustainable use of resources and ocean literacy by disseminating scientific knowledge and supporting sustainable development policies. Created in 2015, it integrates 7 Regional Research Units associated with the following institutions: University of Coimbra (MARE-UCoimbra), Polytechnic of Leiria (MARE-Politécnico de Leiria), University of Lisbon (MARE-ULisboa), New University of Lisbon (MARE -NOVA), ISPA – University Institute (MARE-ISPA), University of Évora (MARE-UÉvora) and ARDITI (MARE-Madeira).

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