REFERENCE IN OCEANOGRAPHY. OCEANOGRAPHER BIOLOGIST. María Ángeles Alvariño was born in Ferrol in 1916. She moved to Madrid in 1934 to begin her studies in Natural Sciences at the University, the Civil War prevented her studies and could finish them by graduating in 1941. Seven years later she was the first woman admitted as a fellow to work at the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) in Madrid for her research quality and after two years of work she obtained her position as an oceanographer at the IEO in Vigo.

She worked at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (Massachusetts). He obtained a grant from the British Council to conduct research at the Plymouth Laboratory. She got a position at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and had her place as a Research Biologist at the renowned Southwest Fisheries Science Center (NOAA) (California).

On February 24, 2012, at the Armon Vigo Shipyard, the oceanographic ship Ángeles Alvariño was launched. It belongs to the Spanish Institute of Oceanography and is equipped with the most modern navigation and location electronic systems, as well as the necessary means to collect samples, both water and sediments, determination of physical and chemical variables of seawater, as well as studies of marine flora and fauna. Advanced technology for the research of marine geology, physical and chemical oceanography, marine biology, fisheries and environmental control.

Total length: 46.70 meters. Gross Armor: 951 GT. Manga Max: 10.50 meters. Max speed: 13 knots. Autonomy: 20 days. Crew and Technicians: 14. Scientists: 13.


A unique project in oceanographic research with a laboratory on board a sailboat.

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Project FarFalle opens borders to promote scientific tourism and rigor, which will allow participants to start and expand their knowledge, learn aspects of the world of the ocean and the processes and mechanisms that have made it a unique medium, bringing to society oceanographic research and the importance of the study and conservation of the marine world. With a divulgo-educative-scientific perspective, we convey the importance of the preservation, conservation and protection of Nature, Oceans and Biodiversity.

We offer short and long term experiences on board a sailboat to study the waters and marine biodiversity that surround the Canary Islands, we focus on the area of ​​Los Gigantes, in Tenerife, Special Conservation Area within the Natura Network 2000, a natural aquarium with spectacular views. The Canary Islands are a unique place in the world, have the highest cetacean biodiversity in Europe, being able to find both warm-temperate (the most numerous) and northernmost latitudes. This happens due to the special conditions that occur in the area, among which the presence of the Northwest African Outcrop stands out, that is, the action of the trade winds that blow parallel to this coast during a great part of the year. These cause the mass of water to be transported to the ocean, causing the deep, cold and nutrient-rich waters to take their place. Of the 89 species of cetaceans described on the planet, there are records of 30 in Canary waters. Thus, during the outings we offer we have a hydrophone on board and you can spot resident species of tropical pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) and bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) throughout the year, as well as spotted dolphins, common dolphins, fin whales, whales or sperm whales, among others.

Proyecto FarFalle is a sustainable initiative, a pleasant trip on a sailboat with the intention of fostering a critical sense among the participants towards actions that cause the degradation of the sea in order to change customs and habits. We will check the worrying state of our oceans and learn new habits that reverse the situation. We study and analyze the microplastics present on the surface and on the seabed in addition to the plankton, plant and animal organisms present in seawater. It is the participants themselves who collect the samples in order to see with their own eyes the current health of our oceans. There is time to enjoy, have lunch and snorkel near the Los Gigantes Cliffs, one of the most impressive places in the Canary Islands.

We are collaborating with Proyecto Microtrofic, Research Group of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, focusing on the study of marine microplastics and their incorporation into food webs in the Canary Islands. We work to improve the situation of the oceans since we are in a vital situation. Project FarFalle is at the disposal of society to make the Ocean known. How, why and for what is the Ocean studied? Come and investigate with us!