Blog | Marcos Update: A New Sea Pen

Marcos Update: A New Sea Pen

December 21, 2012 by Ric O'Barry, Earth Island Institute

By Ric O’Barry
Dolphin Project
Earth Island Institute

Marcos, the little striped dolphin who lost his pod and wound up under the care of PROMAR, a grassroots stranding organization based in the south of Spain, is getting stronger and healthier.

But as I noted in my previous blog, his sea pen is small and shallow and is located in a harbor area near boat traffic and pollution.  He needs a bigger sea pen, to get stronger, and away from the noise of passing boats. 
Given the exposure of the coast here, the sea pen will also need to be tied down to resist storm waves.

Earth Island is helping.  I spent several weeks in Almerimar, Spain, consulting with PROMAR and helping their volunteer work with Marcos. 

One of the immediate needs I saw was the lack of waders.  Many of the volunteers have wetsuits that they can put on to get into the water to feed and exercise Marcos, but a much easier way to go is to slip on a pair of rubber waders.  Marcos likes the waders too, as the rubber feels like a dolphin’s skin, and Marcos loves to rub against the sides of your legs as you are wading about in his shallow sea pen.  PROMAR had only two pairs of waders for all the staff, so Earth Island’s Dolphin Project bought them four more pairs for their use.

PROMAR volunteers constructing a new deeper sea pen for the dolphin Marcos in Spain.  Photos courtesy of PROMAR.

A deeper sea pen being needed in a new location away from the harbor, Earth Island’s Dolphin Project has given a grant to PROMAR to help them build the new pen.  I am grateful to all the support we have received at Earth Island for our work to protect dolphins.  Your donations are going to a very worthy cause in helping Marcos and PROMAR out.  PROMAR is using mostly volunteer labor to build the sea pen, and much of the materials are being donated.

Volunteers from PROMAR working on Marcos' new sea pen in Spain.  Photos courtesy of PROMAR.

Ric and Alexander Sanchez of PROMAR give a presentation on dolphins at the University of Granada, Spain. Photo by Sakura Araki.

Marcos is doing well, and his new and improved sea pen is taking shape.

I hope to return to Spain to help after the holidays.  I know Marcos is in great hands from the dedicated volunteers of PROMAR.

Marcos by Mark J. Palmer/Earth Island Institute.


If you can help PROMAR with a donation, that would be a big boost to their efforts!

Follow Marcos on Facebook and Twitter for ways to donate:


nº C/C 3058-0123-64-2720005367


Photos by PROMAR, Sakura Araki and Mark J. Palmer/Earth Island Institute.

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Marcos Update: A New Sea Pen