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The Macaronesia Network for the Transfer of Inter-Regional and Multi-disciplinary Knowledge and Technologies to protect, guard and monitor cetaceans in the marine environment and analyse and sustainably manage the associated tourism activity (MARCET) held its kick-off meeting in the Elder Museum of Science and Technology of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on Thursday the 17th of March.

The meeting, marking the kick-off of the project, was opened by the Vice Chancellor of Research, Innovation and Transfer of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), José Pablo Suárez Rivero, and attended by representatives of entities from the Azores, Madeira, Senegal, Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, including the University of La Laguna, PLOCAN, the Marine Sciences Technology Centre (CETECIMA, as it is known in Spanish), Gran Canaria Blue and Loro Parque, from the Canary Islands; the Whale Museum and the Oceanic Observatory, from Madeira; the Regional Department of Marine Affairs, from the Azores; the Regional Conservation Society and the Inter-State School of Medicine and Sciences, from Senegal; and the Association of Biologists and the Association of Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Development Bios CV, from Cape Verde.

The MARCET Project addresses the transfer and dissemination of cutting edge science and technology to foster the growth and sustainable development of tourism associated directly or indirectly with whale watching by generating new eco-innovative products and services. It receives European Interreg funding and is co-ordinated by Antonio Fernández, Professor of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and director of IUSA (University Institute of Animal Health and Food Safety).

PLOCAN is participating in the MARCET Project as an expert facility in operational oceanography, leading the transfer of knowledge and technologies in this area and also works with CETECIMA and the ULPGC in co-ordinating and communicating the project, thanks to its long experience in both participating and leading Interreg projects. PLOCAN is also participating in another four initiatives of the last Interreg call for projects, leading the ECOMARPORT Project and acting as a partner in the DESAL+, SMART BLUE and RIS3-NET projects.