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September 9, 2023

Many vessels and one dolphin

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© OCEANA / Vera Coelho

 

After sleeping one night while sailing southwards, we woke up to another beautiful sunrise. I could never get tired of these sunrises at sea!

On our way to the Alboran Sea, we saw more container ships and more fishing vessels than the previous day – a reminder that the sea is constantly being used by multiple actors. So, in addition to monitoring our AIS system, the crew keeps an eye on other vessels to avoid collisions, in case some do not use AIS or have it turned off. Oceana campaigned for vessel tracking requirements to be extended to all fishing vessels, precisely because this increases safety at sea and also helps fight IUU fishing.

We only saw one bottlenose dolphin – which jumped out of the water right next to me on the port side of the Ranger, as if to check out who we were and what we were doing. But it quickly lost interest in us – we saw it once or twice more and it swam away. By that time, the wind had picked up a bit and the sea was slightly rougher – perhaps it did not offer favourable conditions for a dolphin to engage in some human-watching!

We made good speed towards Almerimar, on the coast of Almería, and therefore decided to test the ROV. One of the crew members was operating it for the first time, so other crew members who had more experience took the opportunity of the quiet waters to teach him how to deploy and retrieve it.

The Ranger will now spend some time in harbour, getting some repairs and welcoming new Oceana members on board. I’m heading back to Brussels, and passing on my bunk to some of our campaigners!

© OCEANA / Vera Coelho. Senior GIS Analyst and Logistics Coordinator Jorge Blanco, first mate Nicolas Arau and the ROV 300 at the messroom. Sailing from Sagunto to Almerimar.

 

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