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June 4, 2008

The Story of the Tuna Cage Continued

BY: Keith Ellenbogen


©OCEANA/ Keith Ellenbogen


This morning we decided to launch the grey RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) into the ocean with Carlos Perez as the captain, myself (Keith Ellenbogen), photographer, Enrique Talledo, videographer; and Cesar Fuertes, deckhand to get close to the tuna cages and purseiner fishing boats.

From the RIB the Oceana Marviva is seen observing and documenting the French purseiner, Gerard Luc IV, ST 900236, transferring tuna into the cage.

Approaching the tuna cage in the RIB, one of the divers accelerated his zodiac within 1-2 meters of our boat. Carlos, an experienced veteran, called his bluff as though he had seen this a thousand times before. The diver curious about our intentions asked a few questions. Once satisfied with our answers he returned to his work of diving in the tuna cage and we continued image making. With all the tuna in the cage the tug boat (Antoni X, Panama; IMO 7033159) immediately set a course with the bluefin tuna to the fish farms.

In Melville’s time “…the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago”.

— Herman Melville, Moby Dick.

As the sun vanishes into the horizon with hunting bluefin tuna fishing boats and cages covering the Mediterranean, I wonder what the future will bring… And if life in the sea can roll on…

After 10 days in the Balearic Sea, we are now heading to Palma De Mallorca, Spain to pick-up scuba tanks, fix the compressor and replenish supplies before we press onward to Malta in two days.