On-board Diary: Roquetas

Author: Ricardo Aguilar
Date: July 30, 2006



Again we have been travelling overnight to take maximum advantage of the hours of light. At 7:00 am we are in the Gulf of Almería, opposite Roquetas de Mar. We will stay here for some days to study marine meadows. The location is perfect, because this area hosts three seagrass species: Posidonia oceanica, Cymodocea nodosa and Zostera marina.

We are surprised to find that the lower edge of the meadow is at a lesser depth than we expected and to see that its distribution is very uneven, with a large number of bald patches and bundles of plants that are greatly dispersed. The truth is, that of the immense meadow we expected to find only a few spots remain. We have explored over 5 miles at a depth of between 5 and 15 meters and found nothing. Meanwhile, we face a horizon full of buildings and a forest of cranes…

Apart from the patches of Cymodocea nodosa, we have seen some holoturias (sea cucumbers) in this area, a stingray (Dasyatis pastinaca) and the occasional brown comber (Serranus hepatus). We have had little time for more, because we are in the process of identifying the areas we will work on in more detail during the next few days.