Enric Sala, born and brought up in the Mediterranean coast is a world champion in the struggle to create, protect and maintain marine ecosystems. In 2011 he became the first Spanish to be honored with a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. His more than 100 scientific publications are used as initiators in conservation efforts worldwide. In collaboration with conservation organizations, Enric has played a key roll in the creation of large marine protected areas on the coast of USA, Belize, Chile and Costa Rica.
Currently Enric is working to help protect the last pristine marine ecosystems in the world, not only focusing in maintaining the ecosystem it self but also developing new business models for marine conservation, assuring the ecological protection of these spaces by making them economically sustainable.
Through his expeditions to some of the oceans most remote places Enric Sala has the intention to carry out the first comprehensive scientific surveys of the few still existing pristine areas, constructing with his work a new baseline of what the ocean used to be. Sala´s work will help us understand the oceans origins and how to best work towards restoring them.
When Enric Sala understood that the Mediterranean Sea was once the habitat of big fish and that over fishing and pollution changed it´s fragile balance to what we now understand as a “normal”, he decided to dedicate his life to create and protect marine reserves. Part of Sala´s big contribution is his constant struggle convincing world leaders to dedicate funds and effort to protect the oceans, creating marine reserves that will benefit the marine life as well as people.
“With science we can demonstrate that marine reserves of big ecological and economical value are worth protecting. But to ensure that these areas are protecT, scientific data must reach political and economic leaders.”
In this interesting Ted Talk Enric Sala explains the importance of the big predator in the fragile ecosystem of the oceans and the amazing ability these ecosystems have to restore them self if only we can assure a safe and protected space for this to happened.
Through this short series of articles about ocean preservation we wanted to highlight some of our heroes and their initiatives to preserve and protect the world oceans. Different people using different tools, all struggling to stop the horrible reality we all have been part of creating.