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JaizkibelFor years we’ve been fighting to protect a large marine area in the Basque region called Jaizkibel – our objective is to create a marine ecological corridor between San Sebastian and Biarritz for inclusion in the Natura 2000 network.

It’s been a long struggle, especially because there are plans to build a port in the area – a move that would endanger thousands of marine communities, species and habitats.

But we’ve just received a bit of good news – The Basque parliament has approved a motion calling on the government of the autonomous region to take a year to study the proposal that we submitted in partnership with COBE, and assess the possibility of creating the marine protected area.

Caretta carettaWe’ve decided to start a new tradition on this blog: every Friday, we’ll share with you a picture of some of the amazing flora and fauna we are fighting so hard to protect and give you a little background on the threats it is facing. We have the advantage of having a terrific team of photographers who participate in our at-sea expeditions, so we might as well use it to help our supporters better understand what we’re doing.

Meet “turtle” – we found him swimming near the surface of the water off the coast of Sardinia, Italy.

Endangered turtles are often caught unintentionally, as bycatch by fishing vessels using nets, including driftnets, that don’t discriminate. Driftnets were banned by the EU in 2002, but unfortunately not all fleets are abiding by the rule. As recently as last year, Oceana’s team of observers found vessels in the port of Bagnara Calabra (in Italy) that were still using the gear.

In our effort to interact with our supporters more, it occurred to us that not everyone may  be aware of the different ways in which to stay up to date with our work and get up to speed on the many issues in marine conservation.

Our first giveaway contest came to a close last week, and the winners are (drumroll please)…..
Tom Hoseason from the UK, Magdalena from Austria and Rosa Morant, Rafael Fosela and José Manuel Pena,  from Spain

Thank you all so much for your support of our work.

You’ll be receiving your gift bags shortly. We hope you enjoy them!

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