The port of Lisbon is home to the Dolphin Observatory in the Tagus

The port of Lisbon is home to the Dolphin Observatory in the Tagus

THE APL-Administration of the Port of Lisbon, SA, hosts the Observatório Golfinhos no Tejo, the first land-based monitoring program on the presence of cetaceans in the Tagus estuary. This project, pioneered in Portugal, is the result of a partnership between ANP | WWF and MARE – Center for Marine and Environmental Sciences with ISPA – University Institute of Psychological, Social and Life Sciences, with the aim of understanding spatial and environmental models . seasonal use of the estuary by cetaceans, such as the common dolphin.

Researchers and Observatory volunteers continuously observe the area of ​​the lower Tagus estuary for cetaceans, also recording human activities, atmospheric conditions, among other factors. The information gathered will serve for the development of academic theses, scientific articles and other popular science works, as well as to serve as a basis for wider dissemination to the general public, especially those living in the Lisbon metropolitan area.

The official presentation of the Observatory was attended by Ângela Morgado, Executive Director of ANP | WWF, Manuel Eduardo dos Santos, associate professor and researcher at MARE-ISPA and Commander Rui Nunes, representing the APP.

The Dolphins in the Tagus initiative, which includes the Observatory, began in June 2021, as part of the Oceano Azul Foundation’s NGO training program, as well as with Carlsberg’s support through the #ProbablyBetterNow movement. The “Dolphins in the Tagus” Observatory, hosted by APPbegan its monitoring work in March 2022 and is installed at the Maritime Traffic and Safety Coordination and Control Center of the Port of Lisbon (VTS Tower), in Algés – a privileged place to detect dolphins visiting the estuary – and has a team of researchers and volunteers trained in marine observation and scientific recording.

The Observatory is also part of the CETASEE Tejo program, which has a partnership with FCUL – Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon for the realization of nautical censuses and the collection of acoustic information.

The Dolphins in the Tagus initiative also aims to help bring the citizens, entities and users of the Tagus Estuary closer to marine conservation. It stands as an example of good governance practices, with its strategic partnerships between NGOs, the scientific community, administration, authorities, companies and funding bodies, to help scientifically understand the reasons for dolphin visits to the Tagus estuary and to highlight the rich natural heritage which is the Tagus River.