About 1000 persons per day have visited the first few days of the “Sea Week” activities that began last Friday and which will continue until tomorrow Tuesday in the Portuguese town of Viana do Castelo. The Sea Week has been organised by the Campus do Mar, Viana do Castelo Town Council and the Eixo Atlántico, and will permit inhabitants of this town to participate in workshops, field trips, documentary projections and lectures, in order to learn about the work performed by researchers when studying the marine environment and thus understand the importance of such research studies for conservation of the marine environment.
The Campus do Mar workshops are the focal point of this Sea Week, which was inaugurated by the Vice-chancellor of the University of Vigo, Mr. Salustiano Mato, and the Mayor of Viana, who is also the Director of Eixo Atlántico, Mr. José Maria Costa. The most popular workshops are: a) the fish workshop with its pool in which youngsters fish for different species and must return fish caught back to the pool if it does not meet with the minimum size requirements, b) the sand dune workshop in which the monitor explains their importance and challenges participants to create one in-situ, and c) the fish otolith workshop which shows youngsters their function and how they help us to calculate the age of fish. Visitors can also receive presents for which they need to collect a passport at the entrance and get it stamped as they successfully complete each and every experiment in the workshops. After obtaining the stamps on their scientific passport, they can then exchange their passport at the exit point for a Campus do Mar cap and furthermore participate in a prize draw for one Ipad and two Ipods, but will have to first respond to three questions and demonstrate their knowledge acquired about the sea.
Workshops and much more
The Campus do Mar premises, where the workshops are held, are also the starting point for all parallel activities that will be held during the Sea Week such as: field trips to the beach and by boat to the river Lima estuary, visits to the fishing port, the Viana shipyards, the hospital ship Gil Eannes, and the MARgens com vida exhibition in the CMIA.
After the daily activities, an open air talk is held every day until today, in the Marina de Viana amphitheatre, which is followed by the screening of submarine films. After the talks by Mr. Pedro Gomes (UMinho) on Saturday and by Mr. Victoriano Urgorri (USC) on Sunday, the University of Minho lecturer, Mr. José Vindaga, will talk on “Research and Conservation of threatened species in Continental Portugal” at the final session, which will be followed by the screening of the BBC’s film South Pacific: Fragile Paradise.