During the 4.00 a.m. morning watch, Soledad, Albert and Juan have sighted a new driftnet vessel hauling in driftnets. They immediately informed Xavier Pastor, Carlos Pérez and Quique Talledo in order that these might proceed to identify the boat in question by means of its graphic register and then file a complaint with the Coast Guard.
Soledad Esnaola woke me this morning at 5.30 a.m. with a single word: “driftnetters”. At last, I was to have the chance to see at first hand one of the most harmful and regrettable illegal fishing nets and to confirm that their use, in spite of the prohibitions, is still possible and goes completely unpunished. I ran up on deck and there it was, the driftnet vessel, only a stone’s throw away, unhurriedly reeling in these nefarious nets without a care in the world.
Yesterday we set out on a southern course for Agrópoli in order to observe the fishing activity below a depth of 1,000 m and to make use of the Olex software, which had been fitted to the boat this year, with the aim in mind of mapping a submarine landscape in which the isobaths (lines that join points of equal depth) drop from 1,200 m to 70 m.
While Xavier, Juan and Quique are heading south, at midday, Eduardo de Ana and I head northwards to inspect the ports on the island of Ischia, where the 2005 Expedition managed to witness the presence of driftnet vessels.
Our initial course was directed towards visiting the main fishing ports on the island, namely: Ischia, Cassamicciola and Forio, with the aim in mind of graphically documenting the presence of these types of boats.
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