EAZA members work from the assumption that we can, and are obliged, to do whatever is possible to protect nature, both in the field and in our institutions
In recent years, our effect on the planet has been devastating, with a massive decline in animal numbers and habitats across the globe. EAZA has never believed that keeping animals in our institutions replaces action in the wild - but experience also shows us that the knowledge and finance that we and our visitors can provide to field conservation projects can make a huge difference. EAZA believes that zoos and aquariums form one pillar of the structure that is needed to safeguard the future. Our approach to species conservation, called the One Plan approach, recognises that zoos and in situ conservationists need not only to work together to protect animals, but also to engage the public of their communities to take the lead in demanding action from authorities, governments, corporations and themselves so that together we can reduce the stress on endangered species and their habitats.
In short, EAZA believes that the future of nature depends on all of us; and that EAZA zoos and aquariums can act as a portal for their local communities into conservation across the world.
The EAZA Conservation Database is an online tool to facilitate communication on conservation efforts of our members within as well as outside of the zoo and aquarium community. Each month we highlight one of the projects or activities from the database.
The Nordsoen Oceanarium is dedicated to conveying knowledge about the North Sea to the public, including how to protect marine life and exploit the sea sustainably. Together with the Technical University of Denmark, National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua), they developed the project “AboutEel”, aiming at communicating on the European eel (Anguilla Anguilla), a prime example of species in need of conservation efforts due to declining population trends and increasing demands on the global food market.
This educational project is centered around the “EEL-HATCH” project, where scientists work to establish breeding and hatchery technology for future commercial production of eels, leading to sustainable eel aquaculture and reducing pressure on the endangered wild population.
For instance, “The Amazing Eel” - a public exhibition - was opened in February 2018 to create awareness of the conservation status of this species. Nordsoen also developed educational material and programmes on Eel biology and population monitoring for schools.