Meet the women leading the fight to end bottom trawling and re-meadow the sea in Portugal. 
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2023/ 12 Min

The local people have worked the waters of the Sado Estuary Natural Reserve in Portugal for hundreds of years, coexisting with the dolphins, fish and shellfish, supported by the region’s rich seagrass meadows. The practice of bottom trawling, which bulldozes the ocean floor, has wiped out nearly one-third of the world's seagrass meadows.

Raquel Gaspar, marine biologist, mother and cofounder of the Portuguese NGO Ocean Alive, is on a journey to protect and re-meadow Sado’s seagrass habitat. In Patagonia Films’ Madre Mar, Raquel partners with a group of local fisherwomen to restore this crucial piece of the ocean’s ecosystem–one that provides habitats for sea life and 10 percent of the carbon captured in the ocean.

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