Senior Vice President and Executive Director, Oceana in Europe
Born by the sea
I was born on the Mediterranean island of Majorca, and I come from a four-generation family of seamen. With this kind of background, it isn’t surprising that I have been interested in the sea since my early childhood. Nearly everything I have done in my life is related to the ocean. I am a marine biologist, and I worked for more than 10 years at the Spanish Oceanographic Institute as a fisheries researcher, before I resigned in my post as a government employee to completely devote my time and energy to developing conservation activities, first in regional groups and later in international ecology organisations. If I add up all the days I’ve spent sailing in different research vessels, I realise that I’ve spent a large portion of my life working in the sea. This has given me the privilege of visiting extraordinary places in seas all over the world, but it has also caused me great distress as I witnessed mindless destruction of the marine environment, such as the slaughter caused by driftnets, trawlers and whalers’ harpoons, as well as nuclear tests in the Moruroa coralline atolls and the deliberate dumping of toxic and radioactive waste.
In 1984 I participated in the foundation of Greenpeace in Spain, the first Latin country where this organisation was established and where I held the position of Executive Director for more than 15 years. During this period, we started different branches of Greenpeace in other Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Greece, Turkey, Tunisia and Malta, and I directed the organisation’s United States campaigns for several months.
During 2002 and until the summer of 2003, I worked in South America in the development of MarViva, headquartered in Costa Rica. The organisation’s ships, whose crew is made up of a group of sailors selected from among residents of the area, actively collaborate with park rangers and coastguards in controlling and watching out for illegal fishing in protected marine areas like the Galapagos Islands, Coiba and Coconut Island.
Looking toward the future
Joining Oceana to facilitate its establishment in Europe and working with a team of experienced and committed colleagues is a challenge that will allow me to sponsor uncompromising campaigns advocating the protection of our oceans, which are more and more abused every day.