Bellow, the scientific illustrator João Tiago Tavares, from Gobius created these biological illustrations for the initiative to promote the importance and beauty of Sharks in Portugal called #WeLikeSharks coordinated by APECE in 2013. Proof is that these amazing illustrations represent the biggest pelagic Sharks occuring in Portugal or spotted in portuguese waters including Madeira and Azores Arquipelagos. In total, there are more than 40 shark species swimming by, and none or very few dangerous shark-attacks. The objective was to dismistify the terror generated during decades of these lovely and pre-historical marine creatures.
Sharks are apex predators and crucial to the functioning of marine ecosystem, yet a quarter of all shark and ray species are listed as threatened or endangered in the Red List of IUCN. They have an important roll in balancing the ecosystems by predating available prey. However, since 1970, the global abundance of Chondrichthys (sharks and rays) has declined by 71% (Pacoureau et al., 2021) urging the need to better protect them at an intenational level.
Recently, Anthias Diving Centre launched the Jornadas da Ecologia Marinha with online sessions in which expert divers or Marine Biologists shared their experiences to a broad public of up to 275 attendees per session. Both
underwater photographer Nuno Sá and the enthusiastic Dr. João Correia (FlyingSharks and APECE), shared their magnificent encounters with sharks in Portugal and elswhere.
By reading PONG-Pesca (Fisheires Enviromental NGOs), or Shark League news soon you understand the tremendus effort that APECE (Portuguese Association for the Study and Conservation of Elasmobranchs) together with the civil society and ICNF (Portuguese Environment Institute) made to convince the EU Comission for the protection of Mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) against overfishing. As Mako (light blue shark in the image above) and other endangered shark species were added to the Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 2019, Portuguese and Spanish national fisheries regulations went further by completely banning landings of this species. This decision made in late December 2020, is a stepping stone for the North Atlantic fishieres to avoid the possible and irreversible collapse of Mako shark populations. Read more scientific publication regarding world sharks state of art conservation here.
The threats over shark populations worldwide as of marine wildlife in general have mainly to do with overfishing. This activity however has to do with other sources such as the demands for shark finning, in which their fins are cut and shipped away to wolrdwide markets for shark fin soup, or used for the idealogical anti-cancer pills from cartilaginous fishes, AKA, sharks and rays. In some cases, big game recreational fishing does not release the species caught, deserving a “shame on you” sign. Despite that, pollution, ghost nets and ultimately climate change have been affecting their populations by destrioing key-ecosystems and thus diversity. In addtion, killer-whales have a special appetite for shark liver!
Sharks in Portugal and elsewhere are facing enormous threats, mainly due to overfishing, as they are essential to balance the ecosystems (Queiroz et al., 2015 and Queiroz et al., 2019), with detailed explaintions on a extensive scientific research on “Global spatial risk assessment of sharks under the footprint of fisheries”.
Furtunately, it is common on a Dolphin Watching odyssey to encounter Blue-sharks at the surface, specially when the wind is very smooth. In 2020, we spotted more than 5 blue-sharks swimming at the surface, while a colleague spotted a 3m hammer-head shark close to the Lisbon Canyon as shown above. In these boat tours, the chances are low, however with rising water temperatures during summer they occur more frequentely.
As COVID19 restrictions keep tight (published here) due to the huge number of severe cases in Portugal, the summer season promises to have some tourism activity as last year 2020, due to the global vaccination process. As we keep indoors, plans for outdoor activities you are preparing for next summer vacations can pass through boat tours offers.
SeaEO Tours knows you want to travel again soon, and the Portugal Tourism Bureau reenforced a travel campaign #CantSkipTomorrow in different languages. The commitment of Clean & Safe stamp will continue as high season starts, bringing trust and safeness to allow you to enjoy Portugal free of fear. As a leader in wildlife outdoor activities in Lisbon, SeaEO is also part of the Clean & Safe !
If you wonder what to do meanwhile, check out our new Virtual Dolphin Watching tour bellow and get submerged in our virtual experiences during a Dolphin Watching boat tour and a Seabird Watching. SOUND ON!
Meanwhile, we have created partnership with Blue Sky Wildlife supported by Birdlife International organization that promotes Bird conservation and protection on a global scale together with governments, NGOs and private sector.
Seabirds Watching, Dolphin Watching Lisbon or Tagus Estuary Birding Boat Trips are our wildlife outdoor activites published in Blue Sky Wildlife platform. With detailed information about each experience and diverse wildlife species helps us reaching a broader public. Nature lovers will get the best out of the programs we prepared on small-group experiences for you, your friends and family.
While exploring the seas on a daily basis, SeaEO is part of the Ocean’s voice, thus by contrubuing for the ocean literacy and scientific knowledge, we believe the Tourim industry can cope with a more protective and sustainble approach by planning long-term objectives as prompted by our sponsors.
As mentioned in the last year in this post, Travel & Hospitality Awards is a global recognition programme for the travel industry recognising the very best hotels, tour operators, experience providers, and innovation companies.
The awards are given based on customer satisfaction, good standing with known suppliers and customer feedback with strong focus on exceptional service. Nominees are then categorised and compared on a regional basis by a panel of judges.
The main goal is to celebrate success through the recognition of innovation, outstanding service, and excellence within the travel and hospitality industry.
SeaEO-Tours was nominated and awarded winner of the Travel and Hospitality Awards in the category Adventure Experience in Lisbon, with the boat tours we kept developing throughout this tough year 2020.
SeaEO-Tours operates in Lisbon since February 2018. We have an average of 870 guests per year, 95 % Dolphin Watching sighting success, 5 frequent Cetacean species and more than 39 aquatic and seabird species spotted.
We want to keep working with our main mission of Connecting people with Nature!
Increadible moments with wildlife must be shared. SeaEO customers have had the chance to presence exciting moments with marine species, such as Dolphins, Sharks, Seabirds and occasionally Whales off Lisbon.
These last couple of days, a Humpback whale was also spotted nearby, swimming and jumping with all its glory. Being close enough to witness these incredible and majestic creatures makes us feel more alive. Check out our whale watching tour in september.
Harbor porpoises, not a real dolphin, have also been around although they are normally very shy when in presence of boats. As posted before, we have witnessed wildlife closer to our coastline.
Check out all our Boat Tours in Lisbon with Nature Tourism concept. Embrace Ecotourism adventures with expert crew and benefit from 20% off for booking done until the end of 2020.
The season for great bird migrations has started in September, when a variety of seabirds start flying down from the Northern hemisphere to lower latitudes, such as Lisbon. Other seabird species end their “summer” and start flying towards warmer destinations.
Portugal’s mainland is in the middle of two great migration routes for birds, waterbirds and seabirds. The North Atlantic Migration Route and the Mediterranean Migration Route. Some bird species simply pass by, while others stay for the winter. Pelagic birdwatching is one of the best ways of searching specific seabird species that pass near Lisbon coastline.
Besides the regular Birdwatching along the Tagus Estuary Boat Tour, SeaEO also has established partnerships with bird specialist groups, such as EVOA and Clube XZEN. This coopertation allows us to develop and create special Pelagic Birdwatching events for Ornithologist and bird lovers to get closer and take the best photograph if these lovely wild creatures.
In the Ocean, Pelagic Birds or Seabirds can be found along with cetacean species, such as dolphins and whales. It is very likely that on a Dolphin Watching Boat Tour in Lisbon our crew finds specific seabird species, therefore we know Pelagic Birdwatching
The next Pelagic Birdwatching event is programmed for October 24th early in the morning. Chum will be included on this special and places are limited to 12 guests per boat.
The morning started early for the crew. Sebastian and Captain Sid prepared the boat for the morning dolphin watching tour. Never had they thought it would be a whale watching in Lisbon tour.
The weather forecast seems excellent due to the lack of wind or waves. The day promises something different, don’t you think?Captain Sid
With the customers fully checked-in and after the activity and safety briefing, the engines soon started. It hadn’t passed more than 10 minutes and a Sunfish was spotted inside the Tagus river. Swimming at the surface, it soon swam to deeper waters before everyone could take a decent photo.
As soon as the tour had just left the Tagus river in front of the Forte of Bugio lighthouse, a pod of 3 harbor porpoises were spotted in secrecy at the surface. Afraid of our presence, and because Captain Sid (the Marine Biologist) understood the behavior of these lovely Cetacean, the boat let them be alone.
A pod of friendly and playful common dolphins was spotted close by, which got the attention of all guests quite fast. As they are known, this species gets close to the boats by themselves, thus providing the best chance to get a closer look at these wonderful wild creatures so close to Lisbon.
Sebastian, an excellent first mate and great sailor man, identified a strange water movement close by. This also caught the attention of Captain Sid, who sailed closer. As soon as the boat got closer, the excitement of the crew was evident. With the confirmation the crew, our guests finally had the chance to do whale watching in Lisbon.
The whale was big, longer than the boat. A fully grown adult Minke Whale was swimming in front of the bow at a distance, which was confirmed by the Marine Biologist. This is the smallest baleen whale in the world, Balaenoptera acutorostratos which can grown up to 10 meters.
Each time the whale came up for air at the surface, the excitement was evident. A graceful marine mammal swimming freely. That tour proved this was one super encounter with marine wildlife so close to Lisbon, with the best crew. This time, we called it Whale Watching in Lisbon, which made us proud of what we do.
Lisbon ocean and coastal fronts proves to be a special place for several wildlife species. From a geographical point of view, it provides diverse habitats and ecosystems, thus promoting marine biodiversity so close to the portuguese capital. Guest who joined us on this Ocean Safari can better explain why:
Dolphin watching boat tours in Lisbon, which normally counts with dolphin sightings behond the Tagus river. This year, during August most of the sightings were still inside the river mouth. We now know the common-dolphins that frequently visited these waters were all from the same pod. It included several yearly newborn calfs.
Inspired by the World Animal Protection, we fight against captive dolphin tourism in aquashows. Dolphin and whale watching in the ocean must be done responsibly with professional and expert crew, sensitive to the different behaviour of the animals when approached by a boat.
Our customers also us helped collect garbage from the ocean, thus promoting ocean cleanup. It is imperative that all guests learn how they can help protect the oceans, that is why we promote environmental education on our boat tours in Lisbon.
If you have questions regarding Marine Biodiversity or Wild encounters, make sure to send us using our contacts, so we can address them as best as we can. Our guides and specialists will male sure you can gather the most important information, and hopefully join us on a quest along the Atlantic Ocean or the Tagus Estuary.
We believe a more sustainable approach of global tourism industry must answer the fight against biodiversity loss and threats associated, therefore we are sailing into a Blue Ecnonomy very soon on our Ocean Safari!
The Algae spring blooms in the Oceans create perfect conditions for marine wildlife to thrive. Lisbon has been a stage for a daily wild dolphin show since the end of May.
The Summer dolphins in Lisbon are in fact the same common-dolphin (Delphinus delphis) pod that have visiting the Tagus Estuary and the Tagus river mouth in the last couple of months. The Sailing Academy has been spotting them every day in partnership with SeaEO
This dolphin is called DC10, specifically because he has a severe cut on the tip of his dorsal fin. Their identification system is based on the dorsal fin (finger print), which is unique to each individual.
The dorsal fin cut, may have originated after an accidental boat propeller crossed a dolphin pod. Fishing activity also affects their lifelyhood, putting them at risk in several situations when dolphins get too close to fishing gears.
These marine mammals, have been sighted in Lisbon at least every day 30th of May. This pod of Common-dolphins has several individuals that are frequently spotted. Their marks or characteristics is evidence of frequent visitations withing Lisbon waters.
Because dolphins are curious, as humans are, more and more boats are triggered by their proximity. In turn, putting a dolphin pod at risk, especially when in presence of new-born calfs. It is imperative to have extreme cautions when crossing a dolphin pod on a boat!
Therefore, it is extremely important to act responsibly and book a dolphin watching tour with expert crew and licenced company, as SeaEO, which is mandatory by law.
AOC | Licença Observação de Cetáceos ICNF, I.P. nº 12/2019
Connecting people with Nature!
Dolphins in Lisboa are more frequent in the last couple of days. A common-dolphin pod was followed for 11 days straight. We had the chance of finding them 4 times this June, and shared the position with other boats occasionaly.
Whale and Dolphin Watching is a maritime touristic
activity that most be done responsibly. These lovely marine mammals have been patrolling the Oceans for millions of years. In Europe Cetacean are protected since 1981, and to avoid creating too much pressure, vessels must obey to a special code of conduct when encountering them.
Reduced velocity, smoothly approaching the pod from behind keeping a safety distance of 30 meters (single boat) and sailing parallel to their route for less than 30 minutes.
During our dolphin watching boat tours we always make sure customers understand that dolphins are protected and we are exploring their natural habitats. This includes the Tagus Estuary where they have been frequentely spotted. Dolphins in Lisboa are always a fantastic surprise!
CONNECTING PEOPLE WITH NATURE
Use the following PromoCode to get 20% discount for regular Dolphin Watching boat tour bookings until end of the year 2020:
Use promocode “WILDBOAT21” when booking
In the last couple of weeks, pods of common-dolphins have been spotted be local sailors. These marine mammals, have been sighted in Lisbon at least 9 times sinces 30th of May. Today was no exception for Dolphins to frequent Lisbon.
Since the reopenning of boat tours in Lisbon, with all Clean & Safe measures, the customers have been very lucky to find dolphins “literally” in Lisbon. During our dolphin watching boat tour, sometimes we find these wild animals inside the Tagus river. In the last month of march 2020, dolphins showed up a couple of times. This fenomenon, has yet no explanation for the scientific comunity.
In the Mid 60’s, it was frequent to see Bottlenose dolphins in Lisbon, however, these started to avoid the Tagus river due to pollution. Dolphins are extremenly sensitive to noise, in this case, generated by ferry boat engines and other vessels. Fortunately, with the water treatment plants, the municipalities of vilages and cities nearby guarantee 99 % sewage treatment. Nonetheless, recreation boating has increased substancially in Lisbon.
Dolphins frequent Lisbon along the Tagus river in the last years can be due to several reasons:
SeaEO Tours is the Lisbon Whale Watching and Dolphin Watching Leader!
Connecting people with Nature!