On the eve of the world oceans day, on 8th June, the 2ndedition of the Ocean Talks took place in the Sea Museum, in Cascais. The event, promoted by Galp, gathered a group of renowned speakers in the areas of environment and marine life, and its purpose is to spark a discussion around the opportunities the Portuguese Sea and the creation of value regarding the Oceans.
A diversified panel but with a common purpose: present, through different perspectives, the need to better preserve, know and respect the oceans. Joana Balsemão, councilwoman for the municipality of Cascais, opened proceedings and spoke about the ocean policy taken by the Municipality and its commitment to raising awareness to the population through several actions related to this topic.
"We know more about the surface of the Moon and about Mars than we do about [the deep sea floor]" - Paul Snelgrove.
It was one of the messages Rui Rosa, professor of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, wanted to convey with his more global and scientific perspective. Among other issues, he highlighted the increase in threats for marine species, such as the destruction of habitats, overfishing, pollution and climate changes, as well as the negative impact they have on marine life.
On the other hand, Nuno Lourenço, a manager at CEiiA (Centre of Engineering and Product Development), spoke about the lack of knowledge of the deep ocean by the Portuguese population and about the innovations which already exist to remedy all these alterations that marine life is going through, including a Portuguese autonomous vehicle which is being developed to bring further knowledge of the Ocean.
“Without water, there is no life. Without blue, there is no green. The ocean is the beginning”, said Patrícia Furtado, a speaker from Rio de Janeiro who brought a different perspective of how it is possible to take care of the ocean through a closer connection to the water. She warned about the problems of plastic and microplastic, and presented her project, Acqua Mater, with which she tries making adults and children more aware of environmental causes by bonding more deeply with the oceans, with an experience which goes far beyond a trip to the beach.
After the talks, there was a debate, mediated by Joana Garoupa, which included some of the more worrying themes and what are the next steps and solutions for our current global situation. The importance of education and literacy about the oceans in raising awareness to the need to act was not forgotten.
Simultaneously, we had the opening of the exhibition “O Mar Que nos Une”. An emotional and enlightening trip around the seas which unite Continental Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Brazil, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe. After the passage of the greatest photographic exhibition, the World Press Photo, in Lisbon, will now settle for the first time in the Sea Museum in Cascais.