Oceana has completed two expeditions to document and study the rich biodiversity around the Canary Islands. Most recently, Oceana in Europe traveled to the Canary Islands in 2014 to document its marine ecosystems in order to develop relevant policy that push for protections in the area. This expedition complimented Oceana’s 2009 expedition, which focused on documenting marine life around several other seamounts to help Spain make progress towards protecting different marine habitat.
The one-month 2014 expedition via the Oceana Ranger focused on El Hierro Island, which boasts highly diverse and valuable marine habitats and species. The expedition aimed to map and gather more information about seamounts north of Lanzarote, the easternmost Canary Island, and around Sahara, the southernmost point of the Spanish Exclusive Economic Zone, to help grow the body of knowledge about these areas and advance their protective measures. Oceana conducted over ten dives with a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) at depths from 260 to 3,200 feet around El Hierro Island, as well as several others with actual divers in shallower areas.
In 2009, Oceana traveled to the Iberian Peninsula Coasts and the Canary Islands aboard the Oceana Ranger, and focused on studying seamount seamounts in the area, as well as the seabeds of El Hierro, La Palma, La Gomera, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. A team of professional divers worked up to 40 meters depth to photograph and film the areas, and an (ROV) filmed at 500 meters depth, transmitting images to the ship in real time for subsequent identification of documented species.