Ocean Alive reaches 864 shellfish gatherers

Review of the action of Ocean Alive, in partnership with the Oceano Azul Foundation and the Oceanário de Lisboa.

“Mariscar SEM Lixo” campaign

Another “Mariscar SEM Lixo” campaign was held in the Sado estuary, this time with the help of 67 volunteers. The main purpose was to raise awareness on the estuary’s shellfish gatherers in order to correct some grooved razor shell gathering techniques and to pick up the trash that was left on that marine landscape. In this new activity, Ocean Alive and dozens of volunteers reached 863 shellfish gatherers, among the thousand who were gathering shellfish on that location, last friday, April 14th. This means that, in a single edition, “Mariscar SEM Lixo” campaign got to talk to almost the double amount of shellfish gatherers that had been reached until then (438, between March 2016 and March 2017). Tiago Pitta e Cunha, CEO of the Oceano Azul Foundation, and Francisco Lufinha, Kitesurfer (world record holder for the longest distance in kitesurf without stopping), were present.


Separated among nine teams (five on land, four on the ocean), volunteers raised awareness on these shellfish gatherers, some of whom had already heard of Ocean Alive. Together, volunteers and fishermen were able to collect 2078 salt packages that were spread on the sand and 73 bags filled with various types of waste, 32 of which will be recycled.


The salt packages found on the sand derive from the grooved razor shell most common picking technique: the shellfish gatherer pours some salt into the sand and the mollusc comes out of its hiding place, and its capture becomes easier. However, some shellfish gatherers end up leaving the packages on the sand, contributing for the ocean’s pollution.


This edition of the campaign sums up to the numbers that have already been achieved by Ocean Alive between March 2016 and March 2017: 872 volunteers collected 26.966 salt packages and 21,5 tons of waste, besides reaching out some 438 shellfish gatherers.


Oceano Azul Foundation and Ocenário de Lisboa are partners of Ocean Alive, which also has the support of over 20 institutions, such as Pingo Doce, Grândola Town Hall and Setúbal Naval Club. “Mariscar SEM Lixo” campaign is sponsored by Fundação Oceano Azul and Oceanário de Lisboa and is also supported by UNESCO. It is integrated in the Guardiãs do mar project, which has won the Ideias de Origem Portuguesa 2016 prize, granted by Callout Gulbenkian Foundation, and the Terre de Femmes prize, by Yves Rocher Foundation.


It must as well be said that the next “Mariscar SEM Lixo” editions will take place on May 17th and 21st, being the last open for public participation.

Ocean Alive

Fisherwomen as community leaders.