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May 10, 2011

Exploring the German waters

BY: Christina Abel


© OCEANA / Carlos Suárez


The reason for why we did a stopover in Copenhagen was, beside the press conference, to exchange some members of the Oceana team. We had to say goodbye to Carlos Minguell, Gorka Leclercq and Jose Manuel Saez ‘Pisha’, which were going back home. Instead we could welcome our new team members which include Carlos Suarez (photographer and diver), Enrique ‘Kike’ Talledo (videographer and diver), Josep Maria Fortuny ‘Pitu’ and Daniel Sanchez (ROV technicians) and Sole Esnaola (deck support). Great to have new people onboard!

The last couple of days have we spend in the German waters. First we did recordings in Eckernförde Bay, then three ROV dives around Fehmarn Island. The area around Fehmarn is quite interesting: west of Fehmarn is declared a Natura 2000 area, and south of Fehmarn exist a marine protected area (which also contains a mining area, which is quite thoughtful). The N2000 area looked healthy with good visibility and among other organisms Laminaria, starfish (Asterias rubens) and common whelk (Buccinum undatum). In the area south of Fehmarn we recorded mussels with bryozoan and filtering barnacles on top, red algae and many starfish. The divers did and interesting dive here as well, were they found a gillnet with had captured different fish species, including cod and 4 kind of flatfishes. The last ROV dive we did in this area was made because we saw a fisher boat for recreational fishing. Here we explored sea anemones, starfish, barnacles and common whelk with eggs.

Wednesday evening we sail full speed towards the island Rügen, and while sailing we were lucky to have a beautiful sunset next to a wind farm. Every person onboard with a single-lens reflex camera was capturing this beautiful scenario, with the sun reflecting in the calm pastel colored sea.

West of Rügen, just north of a MPA, we did a night dive with the ROV on a sand bottom, which had few species including mussels, barnacles, bryozoans and plaice (Pleuronectes platessa). In the night we continue to sail east, where we will film the sand banks in the middle of the Southern Proper.