The EU4Ocean coalition on ocean literacy, supported by the European Commission (EC), is now nearly three years old. In continuation of its #MakeEUBlue campaign, the EU4Ocean has organised a yearly contest – the MakeEUBlue Awards - celebrating progress in ocean literacy in Europe. The Awards aim to raise awareness about the seas’ importance and encourage ocean literacy initiatives with long-term value.
The winners were announced at the European Maritime Day, which this year took place on 24 - 25 May in Brest, France.
The leading award was given to the initiative that best responded to the different criteria aligning with the EU4Ocean philosophy, in line with the Challenge of the year's principles.
The winners benefited from multiple prizes, including an official award certificate signed by Charlina Vicheva, Director General of DG MARE, a handmade ocean-themed trophy and a financial reward.
The MedBycatch project (2017-2022) was a collaborative effort between ACCOBAMS, GFCM, SPA/RAC, IUCN-Med, BLI ECA, MEDASSET, and WWF, along with national partners in Morocco, Tunisia, Türkiye, Italy, and Croatia. It aimed to fill knowledge gaps on vulnerable species' bycatch in Mediterranean fishing operations and to provide national/regional strategies for sustainable fisheries. The project included field observations, standardized data collection methodologies, and over 3,600 onboard observations and around 12,100 port-based questionnaires. It developed 16 science-based mitigation measures and engaged over 3,000 fishers and over 1,000,000 people through its digital campaign, including award-winning documentaries. The project successfully built trust among fishers, scientists, managers, and decision-makers, enabling them to work together. MedBycatch has created unprecedented momentum to mitigate bycatch in the Mediterranean and hopes to maintain and expand its achievements.
Name of organisation: UNEP/MAP-SPA/RAC
Contact email: email@example.com
Website: https://www.togetherforthemed.org/our-actions/medbycatch-8.html ; https://www.rac-spa.org
The project, funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Research, aims to engage young students of different Schools in Foggia, a city in south Italy with high dropout rates, education poverty, social degradation, and juvenile delinquency. The main objective is to offer the opportunity to gain skills during a new active learning approach leading to reflect on their role on the planet and to adopt solutions to protect nature. A multi-perspective approach in teaching and learning was fundamental to the constructive growth of the personality of young people within an educational project.
Name of organisation: MIRA a.p.s.
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This was the third edition of a successful project financed by Fundación Biodiversidad, to provide training and to raise awareness for the protection of the oceans, fostering job opportunities to people with intellectual disabilities. They are the agents for the change, they are the leaders of the actions and the target also for some of the trainings (becoming sustainable tourism agents, leading the awareness campaings with children and young adults).
The project involved dozens of marine litter cleaning days in which strong effort in communication and disemination, reaching the community was made. Cooperation with local professional associations (confrarías) to provide trainings to fishermen and boat's staff was also reached. Several training sessions were implemented all over Galicia.
Name of organisation: Amicos
Contact email: email@example.com
Although we know that knowledge is important, we already realized that affections are crucial to actually change individual's behavior. In this context, we created an educational resource “Once upon a time there was a fish called cod” involving a set of memories related to cod fishing, aimed to promote an environmental and socially relevant learning using the cod as a “flag species”. In Portugal, cod fishing is an important activity since the beginning of the XX century. The resource, that includes interviews, films, games, allows the exploration of various dimensions: History & Culture, Life on Board, Biology, Fisheries & Sustainability.
The main objectives are to enhance the heritage linked to cod fishing and promote greater awareness about fishing sustainability. It is free to use and is directed to children. It was funded by Programa Crescimento Azul, from EEA Grants 2014-2021 and has the collaboration of Museu Marítimo de Ílhavo.
Name of organisation: Instituto de Educação da Universidade de Lisboa
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The RAISE-CS is a pilot project of the Erasmus Maris initiative. Erasmus Maris objective is to create a strategic alliance in Europe between formal education, non-formal education, and scientific research sectors to engage secondary schools in the co-creation of new knowledge related to the preservation of marine environment and waters. The project will deliver three main outcomes: First, robust analytical methods that can be used in secondary schools' chemistry labs to assess microplastic pollution samples. Second, a holistic approach to involve upper secondary schools in co-creating new knowledge related to preserving the marine environment and inland waters while ensuring inclusivity and equitable participation. Finally, a strategic roadmap and guidelines to establish the Erasmus Maris strategic alliance between the formal and non-formal education and scientific sectors.
Name of organisation: Ayam Sailing Europe
Contact email: email@example.com
Our mission is to promote Ocean Literacy in the school community and create more responsible and participatory generations that contribute to the sustainability of the Ocean. Our project plays an active role in promoting Ocean Literacy. We seek to encourage the school community to understand the influence of the Ocean on us and our influence on the Ocean. We work the Ocean and the Estuary of the River Sado in a structured, interdisciplinary and vertical way, without being restricted to the classroom context, and with a social impact, either through the involvement of local communities or through the participation of different partners. We also integrate multidisciplinary marine education actions with a diversified network of partners. Our main objective is to understand how our city is strongly linked to the river and the sea, economically and socially, working to help protect the marine ecosystems and biodiversity of the Sado River estuary. The project covers all years of schooling.
Name of organisation: Agrupamento de Escolas Sebastião da Gama
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Through this project, students will develop ocean literacy working collaboratively on sustainable development issues such as climate change and biodiversity. In most schools subjects cross-curricular, pupils will work multidisciplinary and develop a wide range of secondary skills. Students will raise awareness of the importance of the ocean/sea for a life on the Earth and the influence of human activities on the life of the sea. They will explore the consequences of climate change, the extinction of certain species in our area the Adriatic sea especially a seashell noble pen shell (pinna nobillis). They will develop a sense of responsibility towards the ecosystem and biodiversity.
Name of organisation: Elementary School "Josip Pupačić"
Contact email: email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: https://maritime-forum.ec.europa.eu/en/node/7028 ; http://www.os-jpupacic-omis.skole.hr/projekti_u_koli/eu_blue_school
To know more about the Coalition:
EU4Ocean Platform: Become a Member of the EU4Ocean Platform
Youth4Ocean: Become a Member of the Youth4Ocean Forum
Network of European Blue Schools: The Network of European Blue Schools