By Julia Vera
Partner & Managing Director

Meet the Champions!

96 Coastal & Marine Tourism Operators Put their Best Foot Forward to Support Scientific Research on Ocean & Human Health

As the summer unfolds, a wave of support for Ocean & Human Health research is reaching coastal destinations across Europe. Putting their best foot forward for the Ocean, 96 tourism operators from GreeceIrelandPortugalSpain and the UK have signed up to contribute to SOPHIE’s Citizen Science Program by engaging their customers and professional teams in 2 on-going citizen science initiatives:

  • “Blue Spaces & Wellbeing: Understanding the Connections Between Oceans & Human Health”.
  • “Mapping Ostreopsis”.

From March to June 2019, team members of SOPHIE Project’s Partners Travelecoology and Submon have engaged with over 350 tourism operators in Atlantic and Mediterranean destinations across Europe, reflecting on Ocean & Human Health interactions, encouraging operators to trigger engaging conversations with their customers on the subject and building capacity to facilitate their participation in SOPHIE’s Citizen Science Program. 

Knowledge exchange sessions and one-to-one meetings have been held in Balearic IslandsBasque Country and Catalonia (Spain); in County SligoCounty Kerry and West Cork (Ireland); as well as in ThessalonicaLefkadaCephalonia and Ithaca (Greece). Additionally, the Program has been introduced to tourism operators working in destinations along the WILDSEA Atlantic Ocean Heritage (WAOH!) Route, including Portimao and Lisbon (Portugal), Galicia (Spain), Cornwall (UK) and Donegal (Ireland). 

Following these sessions and meetings, almost a hundred operators have signed up to take part in SOPHIE’s Citizen Science Program. These operators offer a wide range of coastal and marine tourism activities and services, including diving, snorkeling, sea kayaking, whale & dolphin watching, heritage boat tours, surfing and a wide range of other ecotourism experiences. Every year, they engage with thousands of citizens that come to enjoy short breaks and holidays by the coast. These operators can be both powerful drivers of Ocean literacy and public awareness on our relationship with the sea, as well as crucial allies of scientists that are working to improve our collective knowledge of the marine realm and how our fates intertwine. 

Volunteering operators have received extensive information and resources on Ocean & Human Health interactions, digging deeper into the materials that the SOPHIE Project has produced to raise public awareness on the topic. Thanks to their interest and complicity, this summer thousands of tourists will become more aware of the many reasons why we should love and look after the Ocean -and what is at stake if we fail to do so.

The results delivered by SOPHIE’s Citizen Science Program will further speak of the capacity of tourism operators to actively contribute to gather data that is useful for scientific research on Ocean & Human Health

SOPHIE’s Citizen Science Program runs from April 2019 to April 2020. 

Meet the champions!

The following operators have committed to actively take part in SOPHIE’s Citizen Science Program: 

AK Wildlife Cruises (UK)
Albatros Diving (Spain)
Algarve Sun Boat Trips (Portugal)
AloKAYAK (Spain)
Amare Turismo Nautico (Spain)
Amazing Grace Yacht Carter (Ireland)
Anthia Diving Center (Portugal)
Apartamentos Ornis (Spain)
Aquaventures (Ireland)
Atlantic Adventures (UK)
Atlantic Diving (UK)
Awaken Adventures (Ireland)
Baltimore Angling & Wildlife tours (Ireland)
Barca Núria (Spain)
Barrika Surfcamp (Spain)
Basket Islands Eco Marine Tours (Ireland)
Begi Bistan (Spain)Big Blue Diving (Spain)
Bolhas Tours (Portugal)
Bonaona Surf School (Spain)
Buceo Malpica (Spain)
Buceo Wayuu (Spain)
Centro Submarinismo 
Subkro (Spain)
Christina Cruise Boat (Greece)
Cornwall Marine Network (UK)
Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (UK)
Cornwall Waverunner Safaris (UK)
Day Cruise (Greece)
Dingle Surf (Ireland)
Dive Arranmore Charters/Arranmore Holiday Village (Ireland)
Divin’ Dec Scuba (Ireland)
Donegal Climbing (Ireland)
Donegal Daytripper (Ireland)
El Rei del Mar (Spain)
Escuela Náutica Arriluz (Spain)
Escuela Náutica As de Guía (Spain)
Estació Nàutica Costa Daurada (Spain)
Fanad lighthouse (Ireland)
Fiskardo Divers (Greece)
Fiskardo Kayaks (Greece)
Getxoport (Spain)
Giroguies (Spain)
Glups Diving (Spain)
Gola Island Outdoor Education (Ireland)
Ionian Star (Greece)
Kayak Basque Country (Spain)
Koru Kayaking (UK)
Let’s Sail (Spain)
Letterfrack Sea Safari (Ireland)
Lizard Adventures (UK)
Maghery Coastal Adventures (Ireland)
Mar Balear (Spain)
Mar Natura (Spain)
Maremasma (Spain)
Marine Discovery Penzance (UK)
Mater (Spain)
Medusa Diving Center (Spain)
Mindfulkit (Spain)
MyCrew (Portugal)
Nauga (Spain)
Náutica Galea (Spain)
Náutica Golfiño S.L. (Spain)
Naviera Nabia (Spain)
Newquay Sea Safaris and Fishing (UK)
Odyssey Outdoor Activities (Greece)
Ozean Experience (Spain)
Palmira Scuba Base Nautica (Spain)
Patronat Turisme Diputació de Tarragona (Spain)
Piragüilla Ocio y Aventura (Spain)
Plàncton Diving (Spain)
Polaris Nautika Eskola (Spain)
Portugal dive (Portugal)
Riu a l’Ebre (Spain)
Rosses snorkellers
Royal Nautic (Portugal)
Scilly Seal Snorkeling (UK)
Seafarer Holidays (Greece)
Sealife Dolphin Watching (Portugal)
Seas the Bay (Ireland)Sirenas Academy (Spain)
SK Kayak (Spain)Solas Ireland (Ireland)
Soller Divers (Spain)
St Martins Watersports (UK)
SUP in a bag (UK)
Tethys Research Institute (Greece)
Tory ferry/Arranmore ferry (Ireland)
Troka Abentura (Spain)
Unisub l’Estartit (Spain)
UR Nomade S.L. (Spain)
Vertente Natural (Portugal)
Walkaboutwest (UK)
Wild Atlantic Adventure Centre (Ireland)
Wilextours (Spain)
Xaloc Diving Center (Spain)