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Baltic Expedition 2013

Oceana’s 2013 Baltic expedition will seek to gather biological data as well as information on fishing activities to support Oceana’s proposals on Marine Protected Areas and fisheries management.


I’ve spent over a year analyzing hours of expedition videos taken by our underwater robot (the ROV). I have to say that you quickly start recognizing the usual suspects of fish and algae. One of the fish that is most commonly seen is the eelpout (Zoarces viviparous).

It is a slimy skinned fish with lots of colour variations, but dark-light brown patterns are most common. 

Today, after concluding our field work, the day was mostly filled up with logistics: packing all the equipment, getting the vehicles ready for a long, long drive back to Spain and finally leaving Poland. This could be the final piece of the 2013 Baltic Coastal Expedition blog, but it is not over yet.

While the main team departs back to Madrid, our expedition's leader, Xavier Pastor and I stayed working hard with our Communications Team preparing a press conference that will take place tomorrow in Szczecin, Poland.

Time flies and we are almost at the end of our great adventure in the Baltic. After four weeks of intensive hard work we have to return to Madrid. We packed the ROV and sent it to Barcelona, then we wrapped all our stuff in Poland and started our return.  But we had one last chance to take a look to a few more harbours, so we took advantage of it and the team split in three groups to be more efficient.

Today is the last day of fieldwork. The rest of work will be done from different venues and it´ll consist of video reviewing, data collection, documentation, presentations and a long etc… The ROV team: Xavier, Maribel, Albert and Mike, worked from the other side of the bay on shore operations and we (the divers) drove about 12 miles to carry out two more immersions. After a smooth and comfortable but somewhat long journey, we arrived at the first diving spot.

Today has been our first day of ROV and diving operations in Poland. We started early in the morning looking for a suitable place to launch our inflatable boat, but due to the fact that it is the peak of holiday season and the concentration of tourists is rather high,  we spent a lot of time getting prepared for the operations. Eventually, after starting in Gdańsk we finally found a perfect spot in the port of Jastarnia on the Hel Peninsula.

After a few days of work in Norrskär, we set off to Poland. It will take about 1500km and a ferry to get to the area. Our colleagues here have been studying for days the areas and ports so we can carry out the ROV operations, the diving and fishing ports documentation. Unlike previous years, this time we will work one more week until the time to go home comes.

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The Crew