The event was held as part of the Mediterranean Ocean Literacy Festival 23 - 24 September
IOI partnered with local company Computime to carry out an Ocean literacy and citizen science-style event where the aim was to combine the sharing of Ocean knowledge with the collection of scientific information by interested laypersons among Computime staff. The event started with an IOI-supported online lecture by renowned local marine biologist and IOI trainer, Professor Alan Deidun. Prof Deidun shared with Computime staff interesting and intriguing facts on the azure sea and how responsible behaviour at the beach and away from it, can help protect it now and for future generations.
The talk was followed by coordinated visits to two Maltese beaches where staff could put into practice what they learned. The beach sampling programme allowed the group to carry out simple investigations on local sand profiles, microplastics distribution and submerged beach litter using observation and special sampling equipment, snorkelling, and recording of data.
“Given the limitations on social gatherings during the current COVID situation, we wanted to find an activity which was both engaging but which would still be safe for our employees to attend. We achieved this and more with this initiative wherein the active participation and collaboration of our staff in scientific research to increase scientific knowledge, was both enjoyable and provided the opportunity to apply in practice lessons learned on how we can use our beaches, the pollution that constantly threatens our seas and how to beat this growing problem, and the decision-making needed to safeguard coast and sea in a safe, open space,” said Computime HR Manager, Sandra Azzopardi.
“We are very excited to collaborate with such a relevant and influential organisation such as IOI,” continues Johanna Bonnici, HR Executive at Computime. “More so, as our own participation comes at a time when a worldwide drive on the importance of ocean literacy is presently underway. It feels good to be part of a movement which raises awareness on matters which are particularly useful to a small island like ours.
” Speaking on behalf of IOI, Managing Director Antonella Vassallo said “this event organised with and supported by Computime, was an excellent opportunity to bring Ocean knowledge to a new community of interested stakeholders, to encourage a spirit of scientific interest for the benefit of the local marine environment and to increase ocean literacy in general. Having companies like Computime participate in the Mediterranean Ocean Literacy Festival, which was organised by the EU4Ocean Coalition on Med Coast Day, September 25th, is vital to growing a community of individuals knowledgeable on the importance of our Ocean.”
The event fully achieved the Festival’s aims to bring “ocean literacy to everybody’s mind and actions in the Mediterranean Sea”. Such events are complemented by the IOI’s publication series – the World Ocean Review – which can be downloaded or ordered free of charge.