The days pass between the ROV's deep trips to the seabed and documentation in shallower waters. The shocking scene of yesterday's trip is still on my mind and will be something I’ll never forget. We started the first dive of the day when, at about 20 meters deep, we came across a loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) hooked to the seabed by a fishing hook.
Sea turtles are in danger of extinction. Among the main threats are accidental catches, marine pollution, changes to their spawning habitats, climate change, egg collection and maritime traffic.
Over the last year and months, we seem to have been asking ourselves this question more than any other time in our lives. The rapid expansion of plastics around us has already caused so much damage to our oceans, marine animals and to us, as humans. What was once a far-fetched idea, has now become our everyday reality.
Today we wanted to celebrate World Oceans Day from 1000 meters below the surface working with the Remote-Operated Vehicle (ROV). But the sea had different plans for us: She asked us to rest for a while.
The wind and the swell increased and we could not do much.
Being able to disconnect and have a day for ourselves is almost as important as a good meal on board. It helps improve the relationship between the crew, giving us a chance to rest and recover before getting back to the sea with recharged energy. Today we spend our time to doing laundry, taking walks, getting to know the island of Salinas and interacting with the locals. Tomorrow we will happily continue with our work after a day spent on land.
I joined the campaign yesterday, now at the base port on Salina Island. During my two weeks here we’ll sail from this port to the different areas that we have left to investigate, leaving and returning to port daily except when we go to the study area in Ginostra, the island formed by the Stromboli volcano.
The days pass by and we’re almost at the middle of our campaign. For the moment, we haven’t any complaints on how the wind, sea nor islands have treated us.
These are perfect conditions to survey the depths of the Aeolians, which surprise us daily with new species and habitats that deserve to be protected. One of the things that caught our attention is the confirmation, once again, on how structural organisms, specifically corals, grow in relation to other surrounding species.
Hey! My name is Ben and I’m a filmmaker and photographer from the United Kingdom. Last week BBC wildlife presenter and myself were invited on board the Ranger to make a series of short films about the work that the Aeolians team are doing in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
After a long day’s travel from London to Salina, we got up early to meet the Ranger crew. Introductions were warm but fast, as we had to leave port and start collecting data.