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June 27, 2013

Thursday 27 June 2013 – Research in the Aland Islands

BY: Xavier Pastor


© OCEANA / Carlos Minguell


After the policy and media work we did yesterday by meeting with Carina Aaltonen, the Minister of Environment and Social Affairs of the autonomous archipelago of the Aland Islands to present her with our proposals for new MPAs in their waters, today we were pleased to see the echo of those activities in the press, and also surprised to find ourselves in the blog of the minister herself http://bloggen.fi/carina/2013/06/26/nedrakning/. It’s a good sign of attention to Oceana suggestions.

While yesterday we spent most of the field work time diving, today we have concentrated in operating the ROV. The computers registering the operations of the robot are quite weather sensitive when working from an open rigid inflatable boat. As these days periods of sunshine, cloudy sky and rain keep alternating, we have to take advantage of the dry moments we get to accumulate ROV images that allow us to determine the best spots where the scuba divers can get the most detailed, close-up documentation. So today we geared up the RIB with its underwater robot, the computers, the removable table and the canvas protection. We loaded the hundreds of meters of umbilical cable and off we went to carry out three ROV stations, at approximately 10 miles away from the dock of the charming old wooden-pier of the Biological station.  The operations took place from 10 to 30 meters deep. Once analyzed, this will give us the basis for tomorrow’s scuba dives in the area.