• Mission assembles portrait of the cold-water coral in the sea surrounding the Azores

    Date: August 11, 2010

    The crew aboard the oceanographic ship “Gago Coutinho” weighed anchor yesterday to study the “Condor” and “Voador” seamounts.

  • Sailing Towards the Gulf of Mexico

    Author: Xavier Pastor
    Date: August 11, 2010

    We have spent almost a week loading and getting the ship and gear ready and handling the media. Now it’s time to set sail toward the Gulf.

  • World Marine Heritage: UNESCO can do better

    Date: August 6, 2010

    The 34th Session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO that was held in Brazil through 3 August 2010, resulted in adding 21 new sites to the World Heritage List, now totaling 911 sites. Two of the new sites are some of the world’s largest marine protected areas, the Phoenix Islands Protected Areas in Kiribati and Papahānaumokuākea in Hawai’i.

  • Scars on the sea

    Date: July 5, 2010

    Our research catamaran, the Oceana Ranger, has been studying Seco de los Olivos, a seamount whose peak is located roughly 80m from the surface of the sea, on seabeds at 400 and 700m depth on its north and south slopes. Because we are "land" creatures and to make a comparison, sometimes its easier to image a mountain of this size on land. Like these mountains, seamounts harbour extraordinarily beautiful landscapes with wide biodiversity.

  • The five senses

    Date: June 27, 2010

    Sight: when you’re at the Oceana Ranger’s bow, you can’t help looking at the horizon; it’s like the sea is inviting you to meditate. Being on board ship and feeling the movement of the waves is relaxing.

    Hearing: apart from the sound of the water, you hear the crew’s laughter, especially Carlos and his “jejeje”.

    Taste: the cold meats that Africa serves us at 11am are just what we need.

  • Garbage on Saint John’s Day

    Date: June 24, 2010

    After a whole day working with the ROV and a couple of interesting dives, during which we saw groups of orange roughies, we return to port. We hear thumping sounds coming from the horizon as we get close to the dock. It’s Saint John’s Day, the night of bonfires to celebrate the beginning of summer. Some people think celebration means turning up the decibels and sowing the beach with plastic, including bottles, bags, cans and other garbage. No comment.

  • Repairs and samples

    Date: June 20, 2010

    After a day in port for repairs, identification work, long talks and the opportunity for personal hygiene, we set sail on the Oceana Ranger. The waves make an appearance and there’s a breeze that, if we were in winter, would be very pleasant.

  • Let’s hit the ocean, we’re leaving!

    Date: June 11, 2010

    The Oceana Ranger is setting sail just in a few days to start the 2010 Expedition. The logistics team is working really hard already to have everything all-set by June 15. The Operations Director must be going crazy (even a bit more) to get everything done on time.

  • CITES: A tragedy for the oceans

    Date: March 25, 2010

    Today it’s all about last-day expectations. All important discussions have been put off for today’s plenary. The reopening of the bluefin tuna, sharks and corals debates will depend upon the support of the parties. Today we may obtain more protection for more species… or be doomed to lose them.

    Finally CITES failed to ban the international trade of Atlantic bluefin tuna and implement international trade regulations for eight shark species and 31 species of red and pink coral, all of which are essential to the oceans, livelihoods and local economies. A tragedy for the Oceans.

  • CITES: Proposal to protect porbeagle was agreed!

    Date: March 23, 2010

    Today all four shark proposals were debated. Unfortunately, only one was approved. The proposals to protect hammerhead sharks, oceanic whitetips and the spurdog were rejected. The good news is that the proposal to protect the porbeagle was agreed! This is a large, migratory and warm blooded shark. It´s meat is heavily consumed in Europe. The CITES listing (in Appendix II) means that the species traded will only come from sustianable and healthy populatons.