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Bringing Light to the Depths Ilumina el Mar

We are facing a critical challenge that demands collective action – the relentless scourge of fisheries bycatch, responsible for devastating population declines in sea turtles, marine mammals, sharks and rays, and seabirds. This crisis hits home, especially within Ecuador’s artisanal fishing sector.

 The good news? Promising studies have spotlighted the effectiveness of colored LED lights in drastically reducing bycatch. And that’s where Project Iluminar el Mar comes in – a dynamic collaboration with local Fishermen, NGOS, universities and government agencies.

 Special thanks to UNDP for selecting us as winners of the Ocean Innovation Challenge, giving us the ability to start our implementation process.

 Our multifaceted strategy includes community workshops, human-centered design studies, and LED light trials, all with an unwavering commitment to safeguarding livelihoods and marine life alike. Our vision is to establish Ecuador as a global leader, igniting change worldwide.

Join us and be apart of this remarkable journey to protect our oceans and create a legacy for generations to come.



Overfishing is one of the biggest threats to the health of our oceans. It occurs when fish are removed from a body of water at a rate that does not allow the species to replenish through natural reproduction.

Marine Pollution

Every year, billions of pounds of garbage and other pollutants enter our oceans. Approximately 80% of this pollution comes from land-based sources, such as agricultural run-off, untreated sewage, and the discharge of nutrients and pesticides.

Climate Change has become the defining issue of our time and affects our oceans in many ways, as rising temperatures can have a devastating impact on marine life, cause sea levels to rise and even alter the chemistry of the seawater.

Mare Nostrum is dedicated to creating practical and lasting solutions for the conservation of our oceans.
Our offices and international chapters work together to develop strategic campaigns and projects, with the aim of protecting our oceans from some of the world’s greatest challenges.

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Ocean Updates

“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.”
John F. Kennedy



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