Underwater garden full of marine litter | Oceana Europe
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Today is my first full day at the open sea and my turn to write the diary. I boarded the legendary Ranger full of excitement and anticipation. The adventure has started! I joined the crew but as a landlubber until now I mainly observe and learn how to behave and move onboard without injuring my head. The vessel is permanently in motion and has its own practical order and logic: every object has a handy, fixed and labeled place, every crew member a task assigned, there is no unnecessary movement. The boat is a living creature herself. She makes all sorts of noises and at night swings you to sleep like the sweetest lullaby, a sea cradle.

We left Mgarr port for a three day cruise to explore an area 20 nautical miles south of the island of Gozo. I am very lucky: already during my first day I could glimpse feeding tunas, turtles and even a juvenile swordfish jumping out of water—a precious view due to its heavily overfished status. Dolphins happily joined us and engaged in a frolic race with the catamaran—you can never get enough of them!

The ROV submerged twice and after a couple of hours of researching a muddy bottom we were finally rewarded with a stunning view of an underwater coral garden at almost 500m deep rock. Astonishment mixed with outrage as we witnessed human impact everywhere: ghost nets entangling thousand-year old giant corals like spider web cocooning Christmas tree. The underwater paradise was also cluttered with colorful plastic bags—an artificial invasive “species” introduced by humans. It is so sad to see that the Maltese waters are no longer pristine…

 

 

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