Ricardo Aguilar

Senior Advisor & Expedition Leader

Oceana Staff

My first works focused on the study of marine mammals and reptiles, though I should mention sharks as well, because they made sporadic appearances in many of my sea journeys. I have had some of my best times with dolphins, whales, turtles and sharks. Today, practically all life forms living in the sea deserve my attention.

The experiences in my life that have affected me the most include the black tides caused by oil tankers like the Aegean Sea, the Prestige, the Haven, and the Erika, some episodes of eutrophication in the Mediterranean, the dumping of waste from paper companies in the Cantabrian Sea and finding dozens of dead dolphins on the coast. But perhaps one of the biggest factors that has driven me to protect the oceans is the destruction that we do not see. Under the surface of the sea, invaluable ecosystems are destroyed at an incredible rate. In the depths, the surprise is even greater—seabed destruction by trawlers fishing nearly two kilometres beneath the waves, lost fishing gear that continues killing, and pollutants capable of destroying life. It is incredible that the destruction could reach so deep.

When you discover the enormous wealth of life that exists beneath the waves, you also discover that the oceans have their own character. The Mediterranean and Cantabrian Seas and the Pacific, Indian and Arctic Oceans have their own unique colours and textures. To think that anyone could have their chance to enjoy all of this taken away or be deprived of even one single aspect keeps me from being indifferent to the deterioration that the oceans suffer every day.