17th November 18
Marine Science Students Attend Lecture at Oceanographic in Valencia
Each year The Oceanographic Foundation in Valencia organises a series of talks in the aquarium. This year our Marine Science students and Tritones Association members have been attending these lectures on a regular basis. Invitations are not well publicised and these talks are often for a limited audience, so we are very fortunate to be included on the invitation list.
Usually the talks are from marine researchers from all over the world, however, to celebrate the last of this year’s conferences, Oceanographic organised a talk from their own director of research on Monday 12 November. Two of our Year 12 Marine Science students, Lottie Copland and Floor Gast attended the talk. The lecture was held in the Antarctic installation and, whilst a little chilly, we enjoyed a fantastic backdrop of Emperor Penguins that were up to their nightly antics! On the journey to Oceanographic an interesting debate started about each person’s opinion on keeping animals in captivity. I have worked with zoological parks for almost 10 years and have my own well-developed opinion about the role of zoos in education, conservation and rehabilitation. There were other opinions before the talk about these animals deserving to live in the wild.
However, after experiencing first-hand the work done by biologists, veterinarians and educators working with Oceanographic, this debate turned into a lively talk about how much contribution Oceanographic has made to conservation.
Dr Andreas Fahlman took us on a journey into his own research into developing the spirometer, (breathing measurement), a device to investigate the health and metabolism of marine mammals. He explained how he could never have developed this device and baseline data for wild animals without the support of the animals and trainers working in Oceanographic. Now he has developed instruments that in a few minutes can give data on the health of wild marine mammals in a variety of situations.
He also described the work being done on the rehabilitation of marine turtles caught in fishing nets and the development of the world’s first recompression chamber for treating decompression illness in trapped turtles. The survival rate has been turned from 20% to 80 % over the past few years….. all down to the work of Oceanographic, the Environment Agency and local fishermen in the Valencian Community. The research is financed from visitor entrance fees to the Oceanographic Centre!
I myself am proud to count myself as one of the biologists involved in the start-up of Oceanographic and the subsequent conservation projects.
It is great to know, as a School Community, we stand out head and shoulders above all others due to the fact that we have dedicated students who are contributing towards investigation and conservation projects in collaboration with….
Conselleria de Medio Ambiente – Environment Agency (with official permission for investigation in two marine reserves)
The Nature Reserve Authority of El Montgo-Cabo San Antonio in Denia
The Nature Reserve Authority of Sierra Helada in Benidorm
Town Councils of Denia, Moraira-Teulada, Altea, Albir, Benidorm
University Politecnica of Valencia
University of Alicante
The Institute of Littoral Ecology in Alicante
All of the above associations see our students as motivated and hardworking volunteers with exceptional scientific skills!
For more information visit: https://www.oceanografic.org/fundacion/