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July 27, 2011

Goal of the day: oysters

BY: Silvia García


© OCEANA / Carlos Suárez



This morning we have taken the direction of Chella Bank with the aim of picking up a sample of the oysters we have documented in great amounts on the peaks to the SW of the bank. The task seems hard, since this mollusc adheres itself very strongly to the rocky substratum and the robot’s hydraulic arm has only limited strength, so we are not sure if we will be able to tear one out. On this occasion, the wind and current conditions have not allowed us to make the transect we had in mind, finding instead of the rocks with oysters bottoms with more detritus, dominated by varied fauna, like echinoderms, sponges, crustaceans, fish and corals. Therefore, the task for this day is still pending.

Upon our return, we pass by a point, some two or three miles before entering the port, where we always find shearwaters and other birds, like petrels and some young gannets. There are some nets or longlines fixed close by, leading us to suppose that this is their feeding area. Some of the people on board try to take a good account of the sightings with their cameras but the sea birds are difficult to photograph since it is necessary that they come very close to the ship, which does not always happen.