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May 9, 2011

Press Conference and diving at a wind farm

BY: Christina Abel


© OCEANA / Carlos Suárez


After being on land for more than a week, it was my turn to return to the Hanse Explorer and take over the fieldwork onboard from my colleague Iben Rathje.

The boat has been in Copenhagen harbor since Sunday, and before leaving the Danish capital to sail south, we had one more job to do. It was time for the first press conference for our Baltic Sea expedition. The conference was carried out on-board the Hanse Explorer, and we garnered some attention from different Danish media outlets. Some Germany media showed up as well and interviewed Anne Schroeer. All went very well, especially due to our hardworking offices in Madrid, Brussels and Copenhagen! So far we know that news from our expedition have been published in Denmark, Germany, Finland, UK and Spain, but we are sure that as we keep reviewing the media summaries we will find it in other countries.

At 17:00 on Monday, we were ready to head off for Øresund, where we had plans to do a dive in an off-shore wind turbines farm, called Lillgrund, south of the Øresund Bridge. The divers jumped into the relatively warm water (8 degrees) close to a huge wind mill. We could hear the sounds of the wings from the mill, while it was swinging around. The visibility was quite good today; I could see the seafloor from the zodiac. Due to the warmer water and the shallow depth, the divers were in the water for longer time than earlier dives in the Baltic Sea. They explored an interesting habitat there, with large mussel beds, different macro algae, invertebrates, such as shore crab(Carcinus maenas) and common shrimp (Crangoncrangon), and also several fish species, including a juvenile butterfish (Pholis gunnellus), two-spotted goby (Gobiusculusflavescens) and sea stickleback (Spinachiaspinachia).For the first time on the expedition we also saw the threatened European eel (Anguilla anguilla). After returning to the Hanse Explorer, the captain set sail for German waters, which we will be exploring in the coming days.