The NEMA (New Marine Species of the Algarve) project was launched in early 2019 by ECOREACH, a research group at the Centre of Marine Sciences at the University of Algarve (Portugal).
As a general objective, we highlight the need to increase scientific knowledge about non-native species in the coastal and estuarine areas of the Algarve (southern Portugal).
We also intend with this initiative to centralize and organize dispersed records of less studied species, contributing at the same time to inform the general public about their biology, distribution and possible risks of some of them.
The project is based on 3 main pillars:
Study and monitoring of non-native species in the Algarve, using scientific methods of regular monitoring;
Integration of information submitted by volunteers;
Assessment of the impacts of these new species, on the environment, on trade and economy.
The concept of citizen science:
Citizen science can be defined as any environmental and/or biological data collection and analysis, including data quality control, undertaken by members of the general public, as individuals or as organized groups of citizens, with the guidance and/or assistance of scientists toward solving environmental and/or community questions.
There has always been collaboration and exchange of experiences between the scientific community and society. However, this collaboration does not necessarily have to be restricted to cooperation agreements or specific projects.
Sporadic records and information can also, when properly collected and processed, be of high importance for the advancement of scientific knowledge.
Within NEMA we are interested in 3 groups of species:
1) Invasive (eg blue crab, weakfish);
2) Subtropical (eg ornate wrasse, fire worm);
3) Other “strange” or uncommon (eg puffer fish, cornet fish).
See our page on "Species" to learn more!
With just a photograph and some additional details, a record that might seem occasional or just "strange", can be of great importance for the scientific knowledge of the species or in the monitoring of climate and habitat changes.
See our page on “How to participate” to find out more!
On the citizen science platform BioDiversity4All, on our project page, all the records that we have already received under NEMA are available. You can explore them at:
We already have more than 100 observers and more than 200 observations of at least 30 different species. We count on the help of everyone and everyone can make their contribution!