Looking back at the Festival ZOUTBAD - WorldOceanDay 2015 | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

Looking back at the Festival ZOUTBAD - WorldOceanDay 2015

On Saturday, 6 June 2015, VLIZ celebrated the seas and ocean with the Sea Festival ZOUTBAD. Despite the beautiful weather, 234 interested visitors came to CC de Grote Post in Ostend, where they enjoyed underwater films, learned through lectures and information booths at the Sea Market, but also took action during various workshops. Dirk Draulans moderated a Blue Café on coastal development, while others tasted a delicious seaweed burger. The festival was organised within the framework of the UN-recognized World Ocean Day and with the support of Sea for Society. The day after, ZOUTBAD continued in Brussels, where the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences was responsible for the organisation.

Sven Van Haelst (agency Heritage) set the ball rolling with his Blue Talk about shipwrecks in the North Sea. This was followed by the educational duo presentation on renewable energy at sea by Peter Troch (engineering at Ghent University) and Lut Vande Velde (Belgian Offshore platform) and finally family Stellamans came to talk about their adventures during their three years lasting sailing trip around the world in the sailboat "A Small Nest".

In the main hall the Blue Talks were interspersed with two documentaries from underwater photographer Danny Van Belle, for which he received several international film awards. The inspiring underwater images provoked a lot of questions, which he answered with great pleasure.

Several institutions and organisations came to share their knowledge and experiences on the Sea Market with a very interested audience. This year, topics as micro-plastics, recognizing fresh fish, sea kayaking, etc. were covered.

At the workshops, there was something for everyone. Sports enthusiasts relaxed during the seayoga (by Justine Bens), creatives showed off their homemade beach flowers and knowledge about shells, smart guys tested their knowledge in the quiz and gourmets found their liking during the workshop cooking with algae (by naturalist Hilde Goossens), where they learned to make pesto and algae wafers. Others admired the spectacular collection of bones of Ice Age Mammals collected in the North Sea of Bjorn De Wilde or listened to the innovative vision around algae cultivation of documentary maker and food truck operator Mark Kulsdom (The Dutch Weed Burger). Outside the entrance of CC de Grote Post people could also taste the seaweed burgers of the Dutch Weed Burger, which hit the spot for a lot of people.

Finally there was the Blue Science Café, where moderator Dirk Draulans led the debate on coastal development. Georges Allaert (retired Spatial Planning at University Gent), Martin Ockier (Director of DEME) and Jaak Monbaliu (hydraulicus at KULeuven) got into an interesting discussion after which the public could get involved in a debate whose theme appealed to many people.

Browse through all activities in the announcment and programme of the event.

Photos of the event can be viewed in the photo gallery of VLIZ.

Visitors could leave a message or promise to the sea in the sand. Watch the clip to see the results.