Bringing the Ocean to Society
Tribute Event
A tribute to the legacy of our founder, Professor Mário Ruivo - Brussels, 6 June 2018

Prof. Mário Ruivo made many key contributions to marine science and policy in Europe. Find out who he was from the people who knew him best and discover what he did for the Ocean. He had a vision for a world where the Ocean was of central importance. Learn more about it and how we are achieving his dream

The event took place at the Centre of Fine Arts in the centre of Brussels on 6 June 2018. It comprised two segments:

  • conference with key presentations and talks about Prof. Mário Ruivo and his legacy. This session was twofold. First, we looked back and present a retrospective on the life and work of this extraordinary man. In a second part the goal was to inspire everyone to continue where he stopped.  
  • An exhibition including the best photos from the I Live by the Sea competition, the highlights from EurOcean's International Children's Art Contest, photographs from Prof. Mário Ruivo inaugural 1957 bathyscaphe submarine exploration off the coast of Portugal, and more.    

Curious about the creative skills of the next generation of ocean lovers and managers? have a look at all the paintings and drawings we received from around the world here.  

The event's theme was Ocean Literacy in a broad sense. It acknowledged Prof. Mário Ruivo's contribution to our knowledge of the Ocean and approaches to improving its management. Mário was instrumental in ensuring that Lisbon hosted Expo 98 – the central theme of which was The Oceans: A Heritage for the Future. Now twenty years later, we offered an occasion to reflect:

  • How successful have we been in understanding Prof. Mário Ruivo's heritage?
  • What new challenges is the ocean now facing?
  • How and for what are we managing the Ocean?

Among the confirmed contributors we had:

  • Maria Eduarda Gonçalves - Prof. Mário Ruivo's partner (Portugal)
  • Manuel Heitor - Minister of Science, Education and Higher Education (Portugal)
  • Lennart de Nooijer - NIOZ-NICO Expedition (The Netherlands)
  • Cyrill Gutsch - Parley for the Oceans/Addidas (USA/Germany)
  • Slawomir Sagan - IOPAN and EurOcean (Poland)
  • Ann Dom - Seas At Risk (Belgium)
  • Telmo Carvalho - IPMA (Portugal) 
  • Isabella Kotynska-Zielinska - Today We Have (Poland)
  • Kelle Moreau - RBINS (Belgium)
  • Tymon  Zielinski - IOPAN (Poland)
  • Ricardo Serrão Santos - European Parliament (Portugal)
  • Iouri Oliounine - UN-IOC (Russia)
  • Ann Dom – Seas At Risk (Belgium)
  • Antonio Pascoal - Tecnico University of Lisbon (Portugal)
  • Lorenzo Minetti – Quagga (Italy)
  • Álvaro Garrido - University of Coimbra (Portugal)
  • Awni Benham - IOI (Malta)
  • Jan Mees - VLIZ and European Marine Board (Belgium)
  • Luís Sebastião - Tecnico University of Lisbon (Portugal)
  • Raquel Ribeiro - Foundation for Science and Technology (Portugal) 
  • Mary Morrisson – Citizen (UK) 

You can learn more about them here.

Prof. Mário Ruivo was a man of action. At this event you could see, touch, feel and experience marine science through interactive sessions and hands-on demonstrations. Lisbon's Instituto Superior Técnico, demonstrated a live launch of an underwater autonomous vehicles and spoke of its capabilities. We also had the opportunity to learn about several activities currently undergoing within the Portuguese General Directorate for Maritime Policy ocean literacy programme including the fascinating voyages of their tiny little vessels that are drifting around the Ocean to spread very important messages. Mary Morrison, a member of the public from the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, transported one of such vessels she found on the shoreline near her house all the way from Scotland to Lisbon in the back of her car! And she also came to Brussels to tell us about it and much more.

We hope this and many other experiences serve to encourage any kids - and grown ups - to take part in what Prof. Mário Ruivo dedicated most of his life: the protection of our Ocean. 

The event was organised with different aspects to appeal to different audiences including policy makers, representatives of ocean research organisations, NGOs and general public including young people.

The event ran for a full day, from 9:00 to 17:30 - PROGRAMME

This event enjoyed the High Patronage of the President of the Portuguese Republic.

Finally, you can have a look at the highlights here and all the pictures taken during the event are here.