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Blog Posts by: Ilaria Vielmini

Winds from the south-east and north-west met and mixed today near Malta. This is a joy for the sailing boat but a problem for the Ranger as the wind is too strong and the waves are too high to manoeuvre the ROV. We opted to work along the coast so we could continue with the mapping of sandbanks, one of the key habitats we are working on along the Maltese bays before these bays get too crowded for the summer season.

443 – This is the estimated number of Indo-Pacific invasive marine species that have entered the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal since its opening in 1869. These species have found the Mediterranean to be a comfortable place to live, but then, who wouldn’t? However, these Indo-Pacific species are not as accommodating as their new home and are often noxious, poisonous, or venomous, posing threats to both the Mediterranean marine ecosystems and human health.

Today the Ranger’s 2015 campaign in the Mediterranean Sea begins. It is a two-month campaign mapping the underwater world surrounding Malta in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. I'm sure there will be unexpected discoveries; amazing images and videos of marine life; laughter with the crew; and magical encounters with cetaceans at sea. However, this is not about the experiences. It’s an important research project and today is its first day. It's the day when you realize you can make a difference.