My name is Ghazi Bitar, I am an oceanographics professor in the Lebanese University. I represent the RAC/SPA, which depends on the UNEP, on board the Sea Patron ship within the framework of the "Deep Sea Lebanon" project. On 26 October 2016, just one day before said mission ends, it was my turn to give my opinion and express my impressions about the way the day has gone. Since 22 October, I have been replacing my dear colleague Dr Ricardo Aguilar, who left us to go back to Spain and attend a very important meeting, Dr Silvia García and her colleague Marta Fernández have been in charge of the OCEANA management team which was implementing the project in question. I must say that since I came on board the ship everything has gone like clockwork, and today the 26 October I find myself motivated and in very good humour, which I am very pleased about. And not just because of the mission's good results, which in large part are new information for marine biodiversity on the Lebanese coast, but also because I felt very close to all members of the OCEANA team, to the crew of the Sea Patron ship and its captain, without forgetting the head chef and his colleague Mohamed.
Since I had closer scientific collaboration with my dear colleague la petite Silvia, I was very satisfied with her competence on a management level and above all on a scientific level. Just as with Ricardo, thank to her I was able to receive quality information about the deep fauna of the Lebanese coast. They did no delay in updating me, minute by minute, about the work plan for each day, timely response to any needs and question I had, in particular during our observations of the marine fauna in the operating room of the ROV. SILVIA, THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING. In terms of her interpersonal skills she has been fantastic, in fact just like all the members of the team, and I would like mention among others my dear Marta Fernández, with whom I was sifting the sticky muds collected in containers and conducting the pre-determination of the samples. She was always in a good mood, she was effective and knew her work well, both from the technical and scientific point of view. We had very interesting conversations, the two of us. I must not forget my friend, Enrique Talledo, "Kike", the most modest person of the team. Kike, you are amazing, I was stunned by your unparalleled competence in the field of photography and I would like to offer my sincere thanks for your effective and help with this topic. I must also indicate that my dear José Manuel Sáez was the best remote "driver" of the ROV. He managed to perfectly execute the different ROV operations.
This is thanks to his positive human approach, and also at times very strict and unequivocal conduct with other members of the team. That is how it needs to be done, in my time, given the delicate nature of the work with the ROV.
Dear Silvia, dear members of the OCEANA team (Pere Valera, Javier Camarena, Alex Blanco, Aaron Sáenz and all other members), on behalf of the Lebanon and the RAC/SPA, I would like to thank you for your presence together with us in the Lebanon, and I hope to see you soon on another mission to consolidate our scientific cooperation, the main objective of which is to conserve the marine environment and continuous development. THIS MISSION WAS ACCOMPLISHED PERFECTLY.