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May 27, 2006

Today we returned to Bastia.

BY: Concha Martínez



The divers have had their last dive in the area of Elba and have been extremely happy with the visibility and everything they have been able to document in this area.

As Pilar said in her diary of her birthday, Miguel Bosé has been accompanying us this week and tomorrow he takes the plane back to Madrid.

Miguel embarked on the Oceana Ranger last Monday. He is one of Oceana’s leading helpers, a lover of the sea and of diving and he wanted to be involved in a more active way with our work. When we picked him up in Bastia, he had just come from giving his support to the cotton peasants in Peru, with another NGO. He is a person who is deeply involved with social and environmental matters and with his image he can help us to ensure that certain matters, which would otherwise not be noticed, achieve a certain importance.

In the course of these few days, he has adapted perfectly to our style of working, he has dived, taken underwater photos, he has regaled our palates with his knowledge of the culinary arts and above all he has steeped himself in our work, our denunciations and most especially the campaign against drift nets.

Drift nets are a way of fishing with a net that is up to 20 kilometres long and 30 metres high. They are used especially to catch swordfish, but they kill so many other species incidentally such as sperm whales, dolphins, sharks and such like, that the United Nations prohibited them in 1992 and the European Union in 2002. This is therefore a style of fishing that is totally prohibited for all European countries.

Nevertheless, countries such as France and Italy continue to use them. Last year, Oceana documented the breach in Italian waters of the laws of the European Union, which prohibit the use of these nets. This year Oceana Ranger, with the extraordinary support of Miguel Bosé, will again document, in Italian and French waters the use of these nets so that, once and for all, as Miguel himself says, they “get out of our seas- NOW”.