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June 22, 2006

The Eolie Islands – Day 2


During the 4.00 a.m. morning watch, Soledad, Albert and Juan have sighted a new driftnet vessel hauling in driftnets. They immediately informed Xavier Pastor, Carlos Pérez and Quique Talledo in order that these might proceed to identify the boat in question by means of its graphic register and then file a complaint with the Coast Guard. We followed them until 5.30 a.m., when the driftnet vessel manoeuvred and came up dangerously close to the Ranger. There has been a repeat of yesterday’s situation. The crew of the Santa Rosa came up on deck and insulted us. Irritated even more by our indifference, they threw three bullet tuna (Auxis Rochei) at us which they had caught and cut up.

Sailing in the environs of the Salina Island we have come across the Santa Rosa again, with a new driftnet vessel this time, the San Giovanni. They were positioned near some tuna fishing boats, which gave the impression that they were dumping their live catch into red tuna fattening cages being carried by a tug. This is a widespread practice in the Mediterranean and is quite unsustainable. It consists of capturing young tuna species, fattening them up in cages with feed in order that they become a marketable size.