Only a few days have passed since we left behind our fruitful stage in search of illegal driftnet vessels in Sicilian waters. Today we took another step on our new path, this time on the Island of San Antioco, in Sardinia.
While the rest of the crew went about the daily chores on the Ranger, an expedition made up of Xavier Pastor, Olimpia García, Juan Cuetos and I, left for some of the ports where last year there had been quite a lot of illegal driftnet vessels.
It was a warm day, and as on other occasions, we had to make do with renting a “pícolo” car, an old Fiat Panda to be exact, and one without air conditioning and with only a couple of litres of petrol, which nearly resulted in our being left stranded along the way. In the space of just one day, unlike last year’s campaign, we can state that the ports of Sardinia that we visited have hardly any driftnet boats moored there, instead there is a predominance of trawlers, bottom line and drum net fishing boats.
Some of the crew are coming to the end of their stay on board the Ranger, namely, Soledad Esnaola, Maria José Cornax and I. At the end of the day, and on board again, we and our other companions work hard on drawing up lists and reports that will later be sent to the press and communication media of several countries, as well as to European Union inspectors, politicians, etc.
We are convinced of the importance of disseminating and spreading information on this type of activity, which exercises such an adverse effect on various marine ecosystems. Hours of recording and hundreds of photographs attest to the arduous investigative work aimed at uncovering a wholly illegal fishing practice and increasing public awareness of its continued existence.
I invite you to read the next ship’s logs from on board the Ranger as the Oceana expedition heads for Spanish waters.
Meanwhile, I will finish off this small log on the deck of the Ranger enjoying the spectacular sunset, which affords us such magnificent images of the Mediterranean.