Freediving and Conservation in Cape Verde: How You Can Help Protect the Ocean

Freediving and Conservation in Cape Verde

Credits: Rasande Tyskar, flickr

Cape Verde, an archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of West Africa, offers a unique opportunity for freedivers to explore its diverse marine ecosystems. As a scientist and an advocate for ocean conservation, I recognize the importance of preserving these ecosystems and raising awareness about the challenges they face. In this blog post, I will discuss the connection between freediving and conservation in Cape Verde, highlighting the marine biodiversity, the impact of human activities, and the role of sustainable tourism in protecting the ocean.

Cape Verde's marine biodiversity

Cape Verde is home to a rich variety of marine life and ecosystems:

Some notable marine species found in Cape Verde include:

However, the marine biodiversity in Cape Verde is under threat due to various human activities, which we will discuss in the next section.

The impact of human activities

Human activities are posing significant threats to Cape Verde's marine ecosystems. Some of the most pressing issues include:

One case study highlighting the impact of human activities on marine life in Cape Verde is the decline of the loggerhead sea turtle population. A 2020 study found that the number of nesting loggerhead sea turtles in Cape Verde had decreased by 67% over the past 20 years due to habitat loss, pollution, and illegal harvesting of eggs.

Freediving and ocean awareness

Freediving and ocean awareness

Credits: Kelvin Trautman, flickr

Freediving, a sport that involves diving without the use of external breathing apparatus, can play a significant role in promoting ocean conservation in Cape Verde:

A case study demonstrating the positive impact of freediving on marine conservation in Cape Verde is the collaboration between local freediving schools and NGOs focused on marine conservation. By incorporating conservation education into their freediving courses, these schools raise awareness and inspire action among their students, resulting in increased support for local conservation initiatives.

Sustainable tourism and local community involvement

Responsible tourism practices and community involvement are crucial for marine conservation efforts in Cape Verde:

In a notable example of community involvement, the NGO Project Biodiversity has been working closely with Cape Verdean communities to protect sea turtles and their habitats. Through their Sea Turtle Conservation Program, they have engaged over 1,500 local volunteers to monitor and protect nesting sites, resulting in a 30% reduction in the number of sea turtle nests disturbed by human activities.

Practical ways to contribute

Visitors and locals can support ocean conservation efforts in Cape Verde by adopting the following practices:

An example of a successful marine protected area in Cape Verde is the Santa Luzia Marine Reserve. Covering an area of 11,000 hectares, the reserve was established in 2016 to protect the rich marine biodiversity surrounding the uninhabited island of Santa Luzia. Since its establishment, the reserve has helped to increase fish populations and improve the overall health of the ecosystem.


Freediving and conservation in Cape Verde are inextricably linked, as the sport offers a unique opportunity to connect with the ocean and raise awareness about the need to protect its ecosystems. As a scientist, I encourage everyone who visits Cape Verde to become an advocate for marine conservation and to adopt sustainable practices that will help preserve the archipelago's rich marine biodiversity. By working together, we can ensure a healthy future for the ocean and its inhabitants, and continue to enjoy the unparalleled beauty and serenity that freediving in Cape Verde offers.

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