On-board Diary: Seco de los Olivos. Garbage in the sea

Author: Silvia García
Date: June 21, 2010



LIFE+ INDEMARESToday was one of the ROV’s worst days in history. Of four dives in different areas around Seco de los Olivos seamount, only one went smoothly and we were able to film the seabeds extensively. During the other dives, either the ROV was constantly getting tangled in remnants of fishing gear, or we had to cancel because of the strong currents that made it impossible to coordinate the robot and keep the ship on course.

Without a doubt, the Mediterranean is a difficult place to work with the ROV. It is a labyrinth of abandoned or lost nets and lines.  In any place and at any depth, the ROV or the divers find remnants of fishing gear and other rubbish. The site where we’re working, in the heart of the Alboran Sea, is also “dirty”, full of trawlers that return to port after a full day’s work without one garbage bag (with rare exceptions) and small fishing vessels that can't imagine how full the sea is of their lost lines.

On the other hand, apart from ships and floating rubbish, we observed a group of at least one hundred common dolphins, Delphinus delphis, swimming peacefully and changing their course to appear alongside the Oceana Ranger.