Alnitak Research Institute is a Spanish non-profit organisation that combines a passion for cultural maritime heritage with a strong will to preserve the Oceans. In 1989 Alnitak restored the historical fishing boat Toftevaag with the purpose of developing science and education programs. Above all it is a platform to bring people of all kind together to work on common goals. At present, we sail the Mediterranean Sea conducting different projects and citizenscience expeditions.
Alnitak is a grassroots organisation founded by two young Greenpeace activists. The idea was conceived in the port of Mahón (Menorca) while on board the ship Sirius. A ship bell with the name “Alnitak” was purchased in December of 1988, and in March of 1989 the ship Toftevaag was obtained for restoration.
Today, Alnitak has a combination of rich experience and fresh energy, with co-founder Ricardo Sagarminaga at the head of a fantastic team of like-minded individuals from a surprising variety of backgrounds.
The official goals of Alnitak are:
To develop research and education programmes for the conservation of our maritime natural and cultural treasures.
We subdivide our work into two large programmes: MEDTOP - scientific projects using top pelagics as umbrella species for the conservation of the open sea ecosystem, and TODOS POR LA MAR - engaging stakeholders and the general public in practical and tangible conservation.
Alnitak partners with top institutes such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, the Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System (SOCIB), OceanCare, Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO),IFREMER, Exeter University and more.
This is our programme engaging fishers, navigators and the general public in the conservation of the marine environment and more specifically the management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The core of this programme is to provide a scientific foundation for management. This is achieved by Alnitak’s expeditions on board the Toftevaag, the satellite telemetry analysis of NOAA and ICTS SOCIB, and data obtained from collaborating fishers and navigators.
The main focus of this project is mitigating the negative impacts on marine diversity derived from fishing, maritime traffic (noise and vessel strikes), marine litter and toxic pollution. The project uses the loggerhead turtle as an umbrella species for addressing the conservation of the open ocean ecosystem.
“Because human knowledge declines with istance from the shore there is atemptation to believe these deep, dark waters are lifeless and we can do what we want with little prospect of harm. Nothing could be further from the truth”
Prof Alex Rogers "The Deep: The Secret Life of Our Oceans"