Who we are

Alnitak is a marine research and education project founded in Spain in 1989. Our primary aim is the conservation of marine ecosystems and their habitats, through research, education and collaboration. We believe conservation is about building bridges: we like to foster strong collaborations between scientists, seafarers, policy makers and the community. Over the years, our project has contributed to the creation of Marine Protected Areas, the reduction of by-catch, noise pollution and ship collisions in the Mediterranean. 


Our research program explores open ocean ecosystems. Sea turtles, sharks, whales, dolphins and tunas are common to all our oceans. We investigate the factors that threaten their survival and search for innovative solutions. Thanks to modern technologies, we’re currently able to explore these species in new and exciting ways, unravelling the mysteries of their underwater lives. Aboard our research vessel we: 

  • conduct field studies to survey and monitor marine species
  • share our results with local communities and policy makers to improve biodiversity and sustainable management
  • work with partners to create a realistic and achievable management plan for the ocean

We believe in solutions, working together with stakeholders to ensure protected areas provide benefits for all those involved.  


For years we've run a highly successful volunteer program which has welcomed thousands of ocean enthusiasts on board. This has allowed us to share our passion for conservation and our discoveries with the public. This tried and tested formula has also enabled us to ensure the continuity of our Western Mediterranean Great Pelagics Monitoring Programme for 27 years. It’s a program we feel passionate about and a great way for us to fund our marine surveys while working with amazing people.


Our flagship research vessel is a historical Norwegian fishing ketch. Her name, Toftevaag, means "meeting place" in old Norse. For years now, her decks have indeed been a meeting place for scientists, fishermen, students, volunteers and people from all walks of life. Her ancient wood and classic style bring people together with one purpose: the conservation and protection of our oceans.

We’ve reduced by-catch of the Atlantic loggerhead sea turtle in the Spanish Mediterranean swordfish fishery by over 95%

Conservation work

Our research helps inform the management of Marine Protected Areas and endangered species, from loggerhead sea turtles to sperm whales. Find out about our organization, mission, our methods, and the results of our decades of conservation work.

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Jump on board

We run an award-winning volunteering program. Our citizen science projects allow us to survey endangered species while involving the public in our conservation efforts. Ready to be a change maker? Join one of summer survey expeditions and help us collect valuable data.

Find Out How →