On-board Diary: Waters of Doñana National Park

Author: María José Cornax
Date: September 4, 2007



For days we’ve been seeing what we believe to be Cymodocea nodosa floating in the water. Its presence off the coasts of Huelva was documented for the first time in the delta of the Piedras River, in March of this year. We believe there must be more areas where meadows of this seagrass can be found. We ask Ricardo and he gives us some coordinates he has obtained from satellite images.

After documenting the seiners at the entrance of the port of Mazagón, we've spent the entire day diving around those coordinates, without success. We know they’re there, we just don’t know exactly where. In the afternoon, on our way to the delta of the Guadalquivir to anchor for the night, we’ve found the rocky areas with the help of the sonar where there are possibly gorgonians like the ones we’ve already documented .

On our way, we also spotted two new trawlers illegally fishing. We immediately call the Guardia Civil, and they question whether the vessel is indeed fishing at less than six miles from the coast. With the GPS in one hand, the telephone in the other and sitting in front of the radar, I can hardly believe what I'm hearing.

Tonight, we’ll anchor in waters of Doñana National Park where we'll attempt a night dive with the ROV to see what riches these waters have to offer, attracted by the lights of our camera.