Sharing knowledge stimulates joint growth. Mindful of this reality, Zoomarine took the early commitment to promote the sharing of knowledge, in addition to a continued investment in science and innovation.
Our philosophy is to contribute to a more effective protection of species in the wild, as well as the increase in the welfare of animals under human care.
In constant evolution
When it comes to knowledge there’s always room for growth. Zoomarine’s policy has always been guided by continuous investment in innovation in several of the park’s intervention areas.
Whether in husbandry and animal welfare, rehabilitation of stranded specimens, or education, our teams at Zoomarine are dedicated to finding different and better ways of addressing any challenge that we might face.
Given the zoological diversity at Zoomarine, its rehabilitation of marine species, and a strong investment in marine mammals and birds training, our park constitutes a privileged location for scientific studies.
Aware of this reality, Zoomarine has a policy of collaboration with external researchers, domestic and foreign, to contribute to science and the knowledge on the species with which we work; or by developing projects that are designed and carried out by the park’s own researchers.
Zoomarine’s husbandry practice, regarding most specimens under our care, and especially marine mammals and birds, is based on positive reinforcement training.
This training is particularly important given our preventive medicine approach because all our specimens are subjected to regular medical check-ups, just like us.
Training voluntary medical behaviours allows for medical check-ups and exams to be performed without stress to the animals, veterinary and trainers teams. This allows a more reliable evaluation of the individuals’ clinical condition.
Additionally, this approach enables the participation of our specimens in science projects to be a positive moment, as the species are free to participate or not in the sessions.
Zoomarine, through its Veterinary Medicine Department and Rehabilitation Center of Marine Species, continually invests in finding new and more efficient ways of dealing with the welfare problems that might arise in our specimens as well as those that we rehabilitate.
This investment allows us to be ever more efficient, both in addressing situations that may involve the welfare of the specimens and in preventing those situations.
For Zoomarine it is essential to share the knowledge we obtain through our hard work. For that reason, through presentations at technical meetings or by direct assistance to those who contact us, Zoomarine shares with the whole zoological community its success stories (e.g. in the fields of veterinary medicine, training, rehabilitation, education), but also its unsuccessful ones, so we can all grow together.
This way, we believe, we can benefit both the specimens under human care and the ones in the wild.
Whenever possible, Zoomarine collects biological information (e.g. blood samples), both from our collection specimens and from the ones that stand in our coastline, to create a database that can be used in studies regarding the species of which they belong to.
This database is regularly made available to external researchers, that can count on an important and unique source of information.
Technical and scientific meetings are privileged occasions for sharing knowledge, and therefore Zoomarine has promoted and organized many, in all areas of its action.
- EAZA 2022 – European Association of Zoos and Aquaria Annual Conference | Zoomarine, September/October 2022;
- IMATA 2018 – International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association Annual Conference | Zoomarine, October 2018;
- AMMPA (Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums) Annual Educators’ Meeting 2017 | Zoomarine, October 2017;
- RIOS – Reducing the Impact of Oil spills | Zoomarine, April 2008;
- Educators Group and Veterinarians Group Annual Meetings – AIZA – Iberian Association of Zoos and Aquaria | Zoomarine, February 2008;
- European Workshop on Best Practices for Oiled Wildlife Cleaning and Rehabilitation | Zoomarine, October 2006;
- Workshop on Production in Seaweeds Purifying Effluents from Marine Animal Farms | Algarve University and Zoomarine, November 2003;
- 33rd Annual Conference of The IAAAM | Montechoro, May 2002;
- 1st AIZA Work meeting – Iberian Association of Zoos and Aquaria | Zoomarine, June 2001;
- 1st Symposium on Pathology and Rehabilitation of Marine Mammals | Zoomarine, March 2001;
- 1st Educational Workshop | Zoomarine, March 2000);
- 27th Annual Symposium of IMATA | Montechoro, October 1998;
- 4th Biological Sonar Conference | Carvoeiro, May 1998;
- 5th Marine Mammal Medical Workshop | Zoomarine and Montechoro, March 1996;
- 24th Symposium of the EAAM – European Association for Aquatic Mammals | Montechoro, March 1996.
In recognition of its commitment to Science and Innovation, of its pioneering role, and of its commitment to sharing knowledge, Zoomarine has been awarded several distinctions, among which:
〉EAAM Award “Best Training Presentation”, Algarve – EAAM (European Association for Aquatic Mammals), Portugal
〉 Belmiro Santos Career Award (16th edition of the Publituris Portugal Travel Awards) – awarded to Mr. Pedro Lavia, Founder and President of Zoomarine
〉People’s choice Award, Algarve – IMATA (International Marine Animal Trainers Association), Portugal
〉IAATE Award “Special Award for Outstanding Achievement and Valued Service-2017”, Califórnia, USA
〉IAATE Award “High Flyer Award” (best conference presentation), Califórnia, USA
〉American Humane Conservation program certification with the Humane Certified seal of approval
〉”Outernet technologies International” – 2nd place, “Whistle stability variation in captive bottlenose dolphins (tursiops truncatus) recorded in isolation and social contexts” – IMATA (International Marine Animal Trainers Association), Bahamas
〉Honorary Member of the EAAM (European Association for Aquatic Mammals) – Awarded to Pedro Lavia, founder and President of Zoomarine
〉IAATE Award (International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators) in the category of Show Behaviour of the Year proceedings concerning the new presentation of tropical birds “Flying Colours”
〉IAATE Award (International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators) in the category Show Behaviour of the Year, proceedings concerning the development of environmental enrichment of two bird species: striated caracara Phalcoboenus australis and Pied crow Corvus albus
〉IMATA Award “Essay Contest” with the presentation “Why is IMATA important to me”, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
〉1st place IMATA (International Marine Animal Trainers Association) in the category First Time Presenter – “Geriatric training of marine mammals”
〉IAATE Award (International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators) in the category of Husbandry Behaviour of the Year, proceedings concerning the high levels of zoological care and husbandry of these animals – work presented: “Station Training for Voluntary Feet Inspection”
〉AIZA (Iberian Association of Zoos and Aquaria) award in the category of the best presentation of the Curators Annual Meeting – “From predators to prey – the evolution of Zoomarine’s Birds of Prey Presentation”
〉1st place EAAM (European Association for Aquatic Mammals) in the category of Best Poster – “The ‘cotton cocoon’ technique: how to dislodge a fishing hook from a pinniped’s gastric cavity”
〉2nd place IMATA (International Marine Animal Trainers Association) the category of Husbandry – “Training a female Bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, for a voluntary mouth biopsy)
〉1st place IMATA (International Marine Animal Trainers Association) in the category of Outernet Technologies Awards e and 2nd place in the category of Advanced Research – “Grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) Laparoscopy”
〉2nd Place IMATA (International Marine Animal Trainers Association) in the category of Advanced Research
〉Manuel d’Arriaga Award, for the contribution to the zoophilic cause, attributed by the Portuguese Animal Protection Society
〉2nd place IMATA (International Marine Animal Trainers Association) in the category of Husbandry – “Voluntary training for a genital biopsy in a female dolphin”
〉People’s choice Award for Zoomarine, Algarve – IMATA (International Marine Animal Trainers Association), Portugal
〉IMATA (International Marine Animal Trainers Association) award in the category of Husbandry Techniques/Research Development – “Teflon implantation procedure by cytoscopy in a dolphin bladder under medical training”
〉IMATA (International Marine Animal Trainers Association) award in the category of Best Trained Behaviour – “Voluntarily trained cystoscopy”