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Blog Posts by: Jesús Molino

7 areas, 26 days, nearly 500 square km, one boat and all the excitement in the world as we set out on this expedition in the Mare Nostrum on a quest to protect the depths of the Aeolian Islands—where its 29,500 lucky inhabitants get to call these beautiful volcanic islands home.

 

A World Heritage Site since 2000, these islands have numerous protected areas to safeguard its land-based heritage sites, but its surrounding seas have been left a bit forgotten. And that’s just the reason why Oceana Europe is starting its twenty-sixth expedition today.

The main objective of the EU Regulation to end IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing is to prevent, deter and eliminate trade of fisheries products originating from IUU fishing activity and stop their access to the EU markets. The IUU Regulation is the most ambitious law to fight IUU fishing globally and this year we celebrate the 10th anniversary since its adoption.

The main objective of the EU’s Regulation to end IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing is to prevent, deter and eliminate trade of fisheries products originating from IUU fishing activity and stop them from entering every year our EU markets. The IUU Regulation is the most ambitious law to fight IUU fishing globally and this year we celebrate the 10th anniversary since its adoption.

The main objective of the EU’s Regulation to end IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing is to prevent, deter and eliminate trade of fisheries products originating from IUU fishing activity and entering every year our EU markets. The IUU Regulation is the most ambitious law to fight IUU fishing globally and this year we celebrate the 10th anniversary since its adoption.

Today is the last day at sea for the crew of the Neptune, since we’re scheduled to dock in Newcastle tonight, putting an end to this expedition, the second by Oceana in the North Sea.

We have a lot of nautical miles along five countries at our back, we’ve dredged the seabed 138 times, taken 799 samples, and done over 80 ROV transects. We’ve made a total of 28 dives which, as a diver, were certainly the best moments for me.

After a few dry days, today was the last dive of the expedition and Scotland has left its mark.

It is the kingdom of the crustaceans: velvet crabs, brown crabs, lobsters...we find a pair of claws guarding the entrance to almost every crack, every hole.  

The interesting thing we came across was a velvet crab in the middle of molting. The way crustaceans grow is fascinating: they shed their shell (exoskeleton) as if it were a glove. Little by little its new shell absorbs water and hardens, growing to almost twice its size.

If I was forced to choose one of the dives that we have had the pleasure of enjoying up until today, I’d pick the Farne Islands, a National Nature Reserve on the border between English and Scottish water. The region teams with lobsters, brown crabs, lion's mane jellyfish, black wrasse, and opulent shoals of pollack, which, together to an immeasurable stretch of red dead man's fingers on the seabed, are guarded by the fascinating presence of the gray seal, the undisputed king of its coasts.

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