30 Sep EqualSea Lab is launching a citizen consultation to assess ocean health in Galicia (NW Spain)
What does a healthy ocean mean to you? Based on this question, the EqualSea Lab (CRETUS-University of Santiago de Compostela), led by Prof. Sebastián Villasante, wants to know the perception that society has regarding the health of the coast of Galicia (NW Spain). And to do so, the team launched the public consultation on the Ocean Health Index in Galicia, a pioneering initiative in Europe. The survey is already available on the website of the EqualSea Lab.
This public consultation will help us in the research we are developing under the scope of the AtlantECO project. In this initiative, the EqualSea Lab aims to determine the Ocean Health Index on the coast of Galicia. It can be accessed at this link:
About the Ocean Health Index
The Ocean Health Index (OHI) is a methodology based on the analysis of the benefits and services that people can obtain from the oceans, such as food, social and cultural values and employment. It was developed by the University of Santa Barbara (USA) in 2012, taking into account the multiple factors and interactions that influence the health of the sea. This index defines a healthy ocean as one that sustainably provides a variety of benefits for people, both now and in the future.
It is one of the worldwide reference method used to determine how healthy the oceans are in different areas of the world based on 10 main goals (food supply, opportunities for artisanal fishing, natural products, biodiversity, coastal livelihoods and economy, tourism and recreational activities, sense of belonging, coastal protection, clean water and carbon sequestration), focusing on various economic, environmental, social and cultural factors.
With the support of this public consultation and the subsequent analysis carried out by the EqualSea Lab, the region of Galicia will be able to count on its own index, at a level of detail that few regions on the planet have. “This public consultation will help us better understand the link between Galician society and the marine and coastal space. The questions include assessments about the perception of the health of the ocean, the threats and risks that can affect this health and how people link a good state of health of the sea to their own well-being”, added Professor Villasante.
In addition, according to the team promoting the consultation, the collaborative method with which the OHI+ Galicia will be developed will serve as a meeting and learning forum, which will help identify the interactions between the various activities that take place in the oceans and establish the objectives management of these spaces in Galicia. The knowledge generated will therefore contribute to improving the conservation tools of the Galician coastal territory. And, in this way, it will generate a positive impact on the well-being of current and future generations.
About the EqualSea Lab
This interdisciplinary research group, led by Professor Sebastián Villasante, aims to deepen knowledge of the relationships established between the sea and coastal communities, with the aim of promoting transformative changes that lead to more equitable societies. It has experts in biology, economics, marine sciences, fisheries management, equity and governance.
The team develops, among other initiatives, the EQUALSEA project, financed by the Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council (ERC). This research is focused on studying transformative changes that drive equity around the oceans, identifying key initiatives to ensure that blue food could feed mankind worldwide.