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July 5, 2010

Scars on the sea

BY: Oceana Web



Our research catamaran, the Oceana Ranger, has been studying Seco de los Olivos, a seamount whose peak is located roughly 80m from the surface of the sea, on seabeds at 400 and 700m depth on its north and south slopes. Because we are “land” creatures and to make a comparison, sometimes its easier to image a mountain of this size on land. Like these mountains, seamounts harbour extraordinarily beautiful landscapes with wide biodiversity. In Seco de los Olivos, the ROV images have showed us large trawling scars and beds of dead corals. Seeing these scars, I imagined: What would happen if a machine destroyed one of the few forests left in my region without giving time to research the species that lived there? What would the people say? Wouldn’t they be furious? I suppose everyone would come together to condemn the destruction and demand the protection or recovery of areas of high ecological value.  This is exactly what Oceana does for the marine environment. Thanks to its expeditions, Oceana sheds light on the richness of the marine seabeds, showing us how urgent it is to protect them.