Founded in 2007 in the Region of Murcia, in Spain, the Hippocampus Association is a non-profit organization of volunteers working to study and help enable the recovery of the Mar Menor seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus) populations. Since the organisation’s establishment, several thousand m2 of seabed have been sampled in the Mar Menor lagoon and other places on the Mediterranean coast of Murcia, providing detailed knowledge of the seabed. Fish population censuses are undertaken by volunteer sports divers and the charity is gathering data and evidence in order to include seahorses on the Spanish Catalogue of Threatened Species and to enable the Association to initiate a recovery plan due to the critical situation of the species.
One of the observations is related to the amount of solid urban waste existing on the Mediterranean seabed, and other seas, and the focus of this project is the collection and recycling of lead used for sport and professional fishing.
The “Plumbum ® Project” seeks to reduce environmental impact by helping to remove lead from the seabed and reducing the environmental damage it causes, and to promote a circular economy by aiding the re-use of lead recovered from the seabed.
The grant awarded will cover the expenses of diving and extracting the lead from the seabed by the Association’s volunteer divers – four scheduled dives in Murcia for a total of 24 volunteer divers.
Check out the organisation’s work here