Welcome to the Nautilus and discover life below water!
The port marks a meeting point between marine and terrestrial environments. Under water there is a rich ecosystem of great biological value and a sustainable port must make its activity compatible with nature. The Living Ports project combines conservation, research and unique access to nature-inclusive infrastructure, made with a new ecological type of concrete. Watch the video
The Nautilus provides a unique experience of witnessing first-hand the development of biodiversity on the ECOncrete seawalls.
The Living Ports project champions responsible marine construction that functions both structurally and ecologically. The quay wall comprises two types of ECOncrete textures, using bio-enhancing concrete and water-retaining elements to create habitat for the local ecosystem. Control panels made from regular concrete are installed to provide comparative data during the project's scientific monitoring.
A local ecosystem
The surrounding marine environment is an important asset for the region of Vigo.
Fishing, shellfish harvesting, and aquaculture activities take place along the Vigo Ria and are of major socio-economic importance, reflecting a strong cultural tradition. Nature-inclusive projects such as Living Ports are vital in supporting the local ecosystem and maintaining a healthy marine environment.
A rich biology
The Port of Vigo is located within the Vigo Ria, the most southern of the Baixas group of estuaries. The Ria is characterized by its biological richness due to water currents and deep cold waters from the north, carrying large quantities of nutrients.
These optimal conditions favor the appearance of microscopic phytoplankton, organisms at the base of the food chain, contributing to the richness of the estuary. Larger species supported by the plankton, such as schools of fish, algae, molluscs, bivalves, and crustaceans, live on docks and other man-made structures inside the port.
The observatory offers opportunities to learn about life underwater in ports environment.
Many activities take place above water, with ships of all sizes transporting manufacturing and industrial products, as well as people to their tourist destinations.
Below water, an entire ecosystem of marine life thrives between docks and the hulls of vessels where flora, fauna and algae of all different colors, shapes, and sizes make a home in the waters of the Port.
A world of sounds
What you hear now is only a fraction of the soundscape at the port. Under the surface, marine life animals use sound waves to scan their surroundings, communicate, locate food, and protect themselves, and port activities can create some interference.
The Living Ports project responds to the relationship between the port and the local ecology, and a team of experts are conducting a first of a kind noise pollution reduction monitoring, associated with enhanced marine growth on ecological concrete.
A 4000-year legacy
Vigo is situated along the southern shore of the Ria de Vigo. As with most coastal cities, the history of the Port of Vigo is intertwined with the sea since its creation in the 16th century.
From fishing, sea salt mining, canning and trading, to industrial transportation and cruises, the access to the sea has been instrumental to the growth of the region since its early beginnings. The Port of Vigo is one of the largest fishing ports in Europe, with around 5 million tons of freight traffic annually, most of which is related to the fishing, automotive and construction industries.