Last June was held in Faial, Azores, a meeting of the European project MISTICSEAS 2 coordinated by the Fundo Regional para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FRCT). This project responds to the second cycle of the Framework Directive Marine Strategy through the implementation of monitoring programs for marine biodiversity in Macaronesia, for three functional groups: marine mammals, turtles and seabirds. The meeting that took place at Casa Manuel Arriaga included more than 30 participants including project partners and technical teams, comprised from specialists of the three functional groups and representatives of the Governments of the Autonomous Regions of the Azores, Madeira and the Canaries, and the Governments of Portugal and Spain.
During the meeting, work sessions were held in order to analyze and integrate the information produced by different workpackages of the project. The data collected by the monitoring programs were discussed among the experts aiming the Macaronesian Roof Report production. This document collects the status assessment from the three functional groups, an update of the definitions of good environmental status and environmental targets for the Macaronesian subregion. The Macaronesian Roof Report will provide the basis for the Member States to fulfil the obligations arising from the implementation of Article 17 of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The main methodologies used in the Risk Assessment and their application to the target species from the perspective of vulnerability, in the face of different potential threats, were also discussed during the meeting.
Furthermore, in the framework of the MISTIC SEAS 2 project meeting, on June 8th – International Oceans Day, dissemination sessions were organized for the general public. During the afternoon in collaboration with MARCET and INDICIT European Projects, six presentations addressed to general contextualization of projects, cetacean monitoring, cetacean health surveillance in Macaronesia, the Azores Arromentation Network (RACA) and the procedures of North American Whale Watching companies were performed. At the night, in the Oceanic Café were implemented environmental education and dissemination actions of the MISTIC SEAS 2 project, named “Coffee with Science”, where the main threats to the conservation of marine biodiversity in Macaronesia and the associated good practices were discussed. The experts of the MISTIC SEAS 2 project have also attended the event, who shared with the audience some of their most special moments experienced throughout the development of the project.
Finally, on June 11th, within the scope of the MARCET Project and organized by DRAM took place the second journey of knowledge transfer between MARCET and MISTIC SEAS 2 projects, where the main challenges for the Macaronesian throwing networks were discussed. Representatives of the MARCET and MISTIC SEAS 2 projects carried out communications on assistance for thrown cetaceans and sea turtles and lectures on the collection of biological data and basic life support for animals. The meeting also included presentations on the functioning of the throwing networks operating in the Macaronesia and a roundtable for the discussion of the Macaronesian Throwing Protocol. At the end of the 2nd day of knowledge transfer, an agenda was established for information exchange in order to produce a technical report for the MISTIC SEAS 2 project.