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Citizen of the Ocean project focuses on the eel

The partners in the Citizen of the Ocean network have moved the eel centre stage for World Oceans Day with a week of action. The opening event on the main issue for 2011 was held at the Multimar Wattforum in Tönning. The course of lectures was headed: “The eel – is a Citizen of the Ocean dying out?”

Citizens of the Ocean love the seas and are committed to protecting them. We are all Citizens of the Ocean – and the Citizen of the Ocean passport makes it official. You can get your passport at one of the many Citizen of the Ocean town halls between Spiekeroog and Zinnowitz. Citizen of the Ocean passport holders are entitled to special events, newsletters, rubber stamps, badges and much more.


The Citizen of the Ocean project is aimed at raising awareness of the importance of the seas and oceans among a bigger audience. It is designed to inform and encourage involvement, while at the same time be entertaining and raising enthusiasm for the sea. The Citizen of the Ocean project provides education for sustainable development and wants to empower people to take decisions for the future and become aware of the effect their actions will have on future generations or life in other parts of the world. The Citizen of the Ocean project has also been awarded as UN Decade Project.


The Citizen of the Ocean town halls are a network of different environmental education institutions such as aquariums and maritime museums as well as conservation organisations and private providers of educational events and outdoor activities. In 2011, the town halls chose a key issue for the first time that would be produced jointly and brought to life by events and exhibitions. The eel is the current focus of attention.


Scientists and researchers report of the life of eels and the latest knowledge from research work. A travelling exhibition has visited over 30 Citizen of the Ocean town halls over the course of the year. During the week of action there were special events on the subject of the eel, for example at the “Erlebniszentrum Naturgewalten“ sea life centre on the island of Sylt. In addition to information, the centre provided the “Mal den Aal“ eel painting competition and a game on the subject of eels where the players become “counters“ that follow the different stages of the life-cycle of the eel.


“Most people only know eels in jelly or on bread rolls. Very few are really aware of their special way of life, the threat to their survival and protection possibilities. The Citizen of the Ocean network wants to make a contribution to conveying information on this special citizen of the ocean“ declared project manager Annett Storm during a lecture at the SlowFish Fair in Bremen.


The Citizen of the Ocean town halls staged lectures, campaigns and games on everything to do with the eel over the course of 2011. In addition to the exhibition, which was simultaneously on the road in four versions, lecture and teaching materials such as PowerPoint presentations, background papers, and an accompanying game about eels recommended for families and school groups were made available.


The key subject chosen for 2012 is “Maritime waste“ and is currently being prepared.


Public relations activities

The Citizen of the Ocean concept has appeared at various opportunities such as a Citizen of the Ocean special as part of the Darsser Nature Film Festival in October at the Ozeaneum museum in Stralsund. This included films about the oceans, for example Hans Fricke's film “Die Welt der Aale“ (The World of Eels). The “Meereswochen“ (ocean weeks) at the Stralsund Meeresmuseum (maritime museum) included an information stand with an eel exhibition, which was used in the same form at other events such as the previously-mentioned SlowFish Fair in Bremen.


The project has also been shown and promoted in the individual organisations in the network. The number of Citizen of the Ocean with a passport has risen significantly this year to 1,500. They are looked after by 53 “town halls“ and regularly provided with information via the “Bottle post“ newsletter service.


Information is also available on the Internet at www.meeresbuerger.de. The site is undergoing a revamp at the turn of the year and will be online in February 2012.




more information:
"Citizens of the Oceans" now has its own website (in German). You can find out everything you need to know about the project.




Meeresbürger 2012: Annual report

Meeresbürger 2009: (in German)

Meeresbürger 2008: (in German)


Project manager:

Annett Storm

Förderverein Nationalpark Boddenlandschaft e.V.

Bliesenrader Weg 2

18375 Wieck a. Darss


Tel: +49 (0)38 233 - 71 92 71

Fax: +49 (0)38 233 - 71 92 70