On-board Diary: Last day at Seco de los Olivos

Author: Silvia García
Date: July 2, 2010



Today we finished the filming work at Seco de los Olivos planned for this 2010 campaign. In total, we have made 24 ROV submersions. These add up to somewhat more than 40 hours of seabed filming time, up to depths of over 600 m.

We tried to make the last submersion this morning to go out directly toward Almerimar, but the swell was too strong to work without any hazards.

This is a regular fishing spot for both trawlers and longline and recreational craft, which is reflected in its seabed plagued with trawling and fishing line marks, and even an entire net snagged on the rocks. But some deepwater coral reefs have managed to survive, and numerous colonies of a considerable size are in good condition. They need urgent protection because these settings are considered to be essential habitats for marine life. Several species of deepwater sharks and numerous species of commercially marketable species such as Norway lobster, lobster, hake, forkbeard or monkfish, among others, have been found at this seamount as well as vast fields of rhodoliths and gardens of sea fans and sponges at its shallowest part.

Thanks to the LIFE+ INDEMARES project this research belongs to, it will be come part of the Natura 2000 Network, the network of protected areas for the conservation of European fauna and flora.