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June 1, 2012

Exploring a fishnet

BY: Jesús Molino


© OCEANA / Carlos Suárez


Jesús Molino - Buceador y coordinador de cubierta

Today we are working in Poland. Yesterday’s weather forecast said that today we would have constant winds above 30 knots. In fact, the wind started blowing today, and even though the waves are still small, they are starting to grow. The work area is protected, but we can see how the squalls carry the surface water. Far away we can see white caps, surf on the wave crests, harbingers of strong winds.

The ROV has no trouble moving and after following the scheduled route returns on board and we have breakfast. After breakfast we pick up our gear and get on the dinghies to sail closer to the coast and inspect it, both on the surface and below. We find a fishnet and dive to film what type it is and how it’s working. We hardly have any visibility. It’s located between 6 and 9 m deep on a mud seabed. Water temperature here is 11º.  After searching for almost 20 minutes we find that it’s full of cod, flatfish and… After 75 minutes diving we emerge to move on to the next two ROV stops, also sheltered from the waves, but closer to the exterior.

Once the two other ROVs are completed, we sail out, leaving behind us the shelter of the coast. The captain reminds us on the loudspeaker that the sea rougher and we must lock down our personal things and work equipment if we don’t want to see it fly through the air. As we sail out into the sea, the ship rocks more and more and people disappear in their cabins. Some of us, camera in hand, film how the prow, some 5 m over the sea level, disappears under the waves. An amazing show which sprays the Hanse deck with salt water and attacks the stomachs of those of us who are inside. This will be a bumpy night. The more time we spend, the rougher the sea will be and the more the ship will rock.  It will be hard to sleep as the ship rocks and pitches – we will have to hold on tight to our pillows so as not to fall to the floor.