Marine conservation on Tenerife

Given the environment surrounding Abama, marine conservation is one of our top sustainability priorities at the resort. The corridor between Tenerife and La Gomera was named Europe’s first Whale Heritage Site in January 2021, and within this Special Area of Conservation, the cetacean population includes resident groups of short-finned pilot whales as well as 21 other species of whales and bottlenose dolphins. The corridor is an important migration stop for many of these species, which also include Sperm whales, killer whales, and Humpback whales. Their annual presence is dependent upon their continuing to find a peaceful environment and plentiful food in the area, meaning that observing them responsibly and caring for the wellbeing of the lower end of the food chain are crucial.

Many governmental, scientific, professional, and citizen groups are involved in monitoring and regulating the activities of the whale-watching industry, which is an enormous part of the Tenerife tourism economy. Their efforts center around establishing and enforcing responsible practices and growing sustainable tourism. But there are also important efforts being made by private businesses and individuals that collectively raise citizen awareness and a sense of personal responsibility and agency in the protection and preservation of our environment.

One such group is Oris watches, founded in Holstein, Switzerland in 1904. Their area in the Waldenburg Valley is completely surrounded by forests and mountains, and caring for that environment sustainably has always been a part of the company’s DNA.

In the 1960s, Oris also began producing watches for ocean diving. Over the decades of work on this product with expert divers and other professionals that work with marine life, Oris learned about many of the threats to our ocean environments and, crucially, that there was much that could be done to improve the situation.

Marine conservation, reef restoration, and cleanup are just a few elements of Oris’s “Change for the Better” program, which supports non-profits in those fields as well as actively promoting ways more people can get involved. Their Change for the Better Days are local cleaning efforts led by Oris Sustainability Ambassadors, and you can sign up for one near you through their website.

Each new organization that Oris gets involved with becomes one of the company’s nature projects, which you can read more about on their website. These organizations include Everwave, a technology company capturing plastic before it enters the ocean, the Coral Restoration Foundation, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, and the Korea Federation for Environmental Movements. Oris creates special edition watches for each new product they take on, promotes the organization with a global campaign, and contributes a portion of every sale to their marine conservation efforts.

Oris Acquis Upcycle

The face of the Oris Aquis Upcycle is made of PET from ocean plastics that were collected, recycled and reused

The company has also worked for years with Tenerife-born Francis Pérez, an award-winning marine photographer, and together they offer presentations like the one our owners will receive at this year’s Owners Cup. The objective of these presentations is to inform people of the issues and give them practical suggestions for how to help. In 2020, one of Pérez’s photos depicting an injury to a whale from a boat was named “Highly commended” in the London Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, and this is the kind of issue about which he and Oris hope to spread awareness.

Part of our many-pronged approach to sustainability at Abama is to work with sponsors like Oris who are making great global efforts to contribute positively to marine conservation. We look forward to educating our staff, owners and guests alongside them and continuing to create communities of sustainable homes that protect the unique environment of Tenerife.