The Portuguese Environment Agency (APA), through the Algarve Hydrographic Region Administration (ARH), has developed in recent years the Environmental Volunteering for Water (VAA) project in collaboration with various entities. This project’s main goal is to promote education for the conservation and sustainability of freshwater ecosystems, coastal and transitional waters.

In this context and in partnership with the Parish Council of Alvor, APA-ARH Algarve promoted the 6th Regional Meeting of Environmental Volunteers for Water Youth (ERVAA Jovem) on March 25th, in Alvor. The event was attended by students from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycles of the Schools of Bemposta and classes of Faro, 2nd cycle of the Schools of Pinheiro e Rosa and João de Deus. 

In this event, which was based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), students were challenged to reflect on the “Common Home” and to “Do your part”. Along the way, the students went through several stops where in each one an activity related to one SDG was promoted.

The APA-ARH Algarve team had 11 partners for this event, one of which was SOMAR – which streamlined an educational game called ‘Fishing with Science‘.


SOMAR integrated the program of the event ERVAA JOVEM, dynamizing a stop on the route focused on SDG 14 – Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources. At this stop, students participated in a didactic game called ‘Fishing with Science’ – a pun with the word conscience – highlighting the importance of sustainable consumption and protection of marine life.

Five short sessions (20-30 minutes each) were held in the Alvor riverside area, with the participation of 111 students during the morning and afternoon (09:30-15:30). The action reached students from the 1st cycle of the EB1 of Alvor (Bemposta ES) and the 2nd cycle of the EB2,3 of Santo António (João de Deus ES).

The activity presented a fishing trip on the beach where the students, using fishing lines caught fish hidden in the sand. The fish species presented are found on the Portuguese coast and are of importance to the national fishery. Species ranging from low to high commercial value were covered, as well as invasive species. The students measured the fish caught with a ruler, introducing the concept of minimum capture size and its role in the preservation of natural resources. During the action other topics such as exploitation of the fishing resource, closed season, conservation status and fisheries biology were also covered.