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September 19, 2023

Preparing for the unexpected

BY: Helena Alvarez



In every expedition there are days when, even if we want to, we can’t go out to sea. Today is one of those days because our beloved Ranger needs a tune-up. However, days like this give us the opportunity to reflect a little on all the conditions that have to be in place in order for us to be able to carry out this wonderful work, and to achieve such good results.

As a non-profit organisation, we need to raise public or private funds in order to cover the high costs of maintaining the boat and its crew. In addition, we need weather conditions that allow us to carry out our activities, which are sometimes quite complicated. These include long periods of “restricted manoeuvring”, such as when our underwater robot (ROV) is in use. We also need to be lucky enough that what we are looking to document is in the right place, be it a species, an impact that threatens the biodiversity of the area, an illegal activity, etc.

To leave as little to chance as possible, we engage in a planning phase where we do a lot of research beforehand, making sure that the conditions, dates and location are as suitable as possible for our objectives. Even so, it doesn’t always work out, but we can nonetheless try to ensure that we get the most out of the days we are at sea.

Our experience stands to us: previous expeditions have produced data which has led to many successful outcomes, such as protecting new areas, including species in protection catalogues and highlighting impacts and illegal activities. The effort is definitely worth it.

© OCEANA / Enrique Talledo. Social Media specialist, Lucinda Birk filming expedition leader, Ricardo Aguilar, using the stereomicroscope.