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Blog Posts by: Silvia García

LIFE+ INDEMARESAlthough the east wind has picked up, today we've done two dives with the ROV, almost three hours each, and we observed many fish species.

We tried the area east of Seco de los Olivos this morning, where the trawling marks are abundant atop a detritic seabed. We identify small solitary corals, crustaceans, cuttlefish, hake, small spotted catsharks and seabream.

LIFE+ INDEMARESToday was one of the ROV’s worst days in history. Of four dives in different areas around Seco de los Olivos seamount, only one went smoothly and we were able to film the seabeds extensively. During the other dives, either the ROV was constantly getting tangled in remnants of fishing gear, or we had to cancel because of the strong currents that made it impossible to coordinate the robot and keep the ship on course.

After leaving Cape Nao behind, in Valencia, we no longer feel the North wind that was with us since we set sail from Sagunto. The crossing to Almeria has been very quiet, too quiet. We’ve barely seen any cetaceans, although we’ve seen plenty of trawlers and deployed nets, especially abundant in the waters of Valencia and Almeria, as we’ve seen so far along the way.

After two months of preparations, the Oceana Ranger, a 21.5-metre catamaran, is ready to begin the campaign. This year, we’ll concentrate on some of the most important seamounts in the Mediterranean, marine biodiversity "hotspots" in this sea that, up to now, have barely been studied.

We set sail from the port of Sagunto with a day and a half of sailing until we reach Almerimar, in Almeria, where we’ll submerge the ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle), an underwater robot controlled from the ship that will help us document Mediterranean marine life at depths up to 800m.

Scorching sun, calm in the morning and force 3 winds in the afternoon.

Today, besides submerging the divers in the area where we found a coral forest yesterday at a point in the southern half of the area to be investigated, we took 3 samples of muddy sea bottom with a small dredger we carry on board. Some species of worm were found amid that mud, very rich in nutrients.

Sunny, breeze, choppy sea, but good for working.

Sixteen nautical miles off the coast of Chipiona, we began with the submarine robot’s first dives at a depth of almost 100 m. Tomorrow we will start the transects to document the bottoms of the area proposed for installing the "Cruces del Mar" marine wind turbine farm. The purpose of this research is to minimize the impact that this type of project could have upon the marine environment. To do so, we must carefully analyze and locate the most suitable area to install it.

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