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August 30, 2011

Summer of at-sea expeditions at an end

BY: Angela Pauly



Well, we’ve reached the end of our summer at-sea expeditions. You may recall, we had an incredible experience in the Baltic Sea a few months ago and a few weeks ago, the Oceana Ranger pulled into its final port after spending 2 months travelling through and studying the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic (by Portugal).

Our team was particularly excited to check out the Gorringe Seamount, in the Portuguese Atlantic (thanks to generous support from the Foundation for the Third Millennium). While the area is known to be a rich habitat, few have actually studied the scope of this hotspot. Well let me tell you – it was a treasure trove. Our team identified deep-sea sponge fields, important kelp and black coral forests, extensive oyster beds as well as over 100 different species including spotted dolphins, Minke whales, sea pens, slipper lobsters and fish including orange roughies, longspine snipefish, morays and conger eels.

We think the information we gathered clearly justifies this area’s inclusion in Natura 2000, Europe’s most important network of protected areas – and that’s what we are going to start working on.

Okay, enough with the talking – take a look at these incredible images from our entire expedition in the Med!