I arrived from Brussels and joined the rest of the crew of the Ranger in Santa Margherita in Northern Italy, our base this week to explore and document the Portofino Marine Park. I am looking forward to another week on board, after my great experience last year during the turtle tagging campaign.
Many tourists come here to enjoy the beautiful coastline and the sunshine, but just offshore, below the surface of the water lies another world of corals, sponges, posedonia beds and many other types of habitat. This year the Ranger is again exploring and documenting some of the fantastic underwater habitats in the Mediterranean. The eleven members of the crew include marine biologists, underwater camera operators, photographers and support divers. All this week we will set out everyday to explore different parts of the Marine Park.
My day to day life for Oceana consists of trying to influence fisheries and marine policy to ensure adequate environmental protection from the many threats facing our seas. I am based in Brussels where most policy is initiated and decided. How, you may ask, does the work of the Ranger link to what I do in Brussels? In fact the work of the Ranger expedition is a vital tool for me. Images are often far more powerful than any words I can write when communicating the need to protect our marine environment. Moreover, our work on the Ranger provides the hard evidence to support the need for adequate marine conservation.
For me personally, my time on the Ranger is the opportunity to take off my city suit, leave behind the Brussels world of legal texts and political meetings and get back onto the ocean and experience at first hand what we are working to protect.