CSS - Portugal: Oceánario de Lisboa
Established in 2018 in Lisbon this Center for Species Survival, hosted by Oceanário de Lisboa, has the goal to increase the representativity of marine species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, to better understand the conservation needs of the marine environment. To this end, it works closely with the Marine Biodiversity Unit on global assessments of marine fishes, with a particular focus on Not Evaluated species held in public aquariums, as well as conducting national assessments for Portuguese marine fishes.
Supporting the Species Conservation
Red Book of the Marine Fishes of Portugal
Red Books first started being published in Portugal in the early 1990s: the first, focused on Mammals, Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians, was published in 1990; the second, focused on Freshwater and Diadromous Fishes, was published in 1991; and the final volume published in 1993 assessed Marine and Estuarine Fishes. After 30 years, most taxonomic groups have had national assessment updates; however, marine fishes were left behind. With one of the largest European Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) and over 1,000 species of marine fishes, it is of extreme importance to know the status of marine biodiversity to define conservation strategies and inform marine development strategies. This ambitious project is being led by Oceanário de Lisboa and the Oceano Azul Foundation, with the technical support of the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF) and financial support from the City Council of Lisbon (CML). It is expected to be completed by 2023.
This Red Book will follow IUCN’s Red List Guidelines for Regional and National Assessments and count on the participation of researchers and ichthyologists from all over mainland Portugal, Azores, and Madeira.
Global Marine Species Assessment Project – Marine Biodiversity Unit
Due to the relatively low number of marine assessments on the Red List, when compared to those of other systems, Oceanário has been focused on the Assess step of the Assess-Plan-Act Cycle, as it is essential to know what needs protection before designing conservation measures. This commitment has resulted in Catarina Fonseca’s participation in several of MBU’s assessment projects by collating data for, facilitating, or reviewing almost 600 assessments of marine bony fishes, as well as participating in two international assessment workshops, as of 2022.
Public Aquarium Species Assessment Project
In 2019, the Public Aquarium Species Assessment Project was started to assess all Not Evaluated (NE) marine vertebrate and invertebrate species in public aquariums, starting with Oceanário de Lisboa’s and The Deep´s animal collection. The information collected is then used to better inform collection planning, conservation, and education messages, ex situ conservation activities, and allocation of funding to in situ conservation projects.
Meet our team
Ana is a Marine Species Survival Officer at Oceanário de Lisboa. She started her career in the Azores as a scientific researcher. In 2021, Ana moved to the Center for Species Survival team to work on the Red Book of the Marine Fishes of Portugal.
Catarina is a Marine Species Survival Officer at Oceanário de Lisboa. She started her career focusing on fish biology. In 2021, Catarina joined the Center for Species Survival team to work on the Red Book of the Marine Fishes of Portugal.