On-board Diary: The Ranger reaches Chipiona

Author: Galia Todorova y Konstantin Kostadinov
Date: July 10, 2010



We got up at 7:30 a.m. A pleasant morning, quiet with calm seas. Everyone is silent and concentrated on their job.

We have sailed from the Rota area to Chipiona, farther north, to document the marine area that Oceana proposes to protect off Doñana National Park. This is the fourth year that we have worked in the Gulf of Cádiz documenting its seabed, the biodiversity it holds and the exploitation of its resources. We headed toward some slabs of rock where, just as we suspected, we found a large group of white sea fans and many other species. The dredger that we launched off Doñana picked up a large amount of mollusk remains, as abundant on the ocean floor as the mineral fragments and some copepods, thus verifying the abundance of food that exists in this area for marine species.

At present, only 4,000 marine hectares are protected off Doñana. For this reason, Oceana considers that the protected strip must be extended, and it proposes to increase the protected area up to 80,000 hectares. This involves extending it some 8 kilometers seaward. Our goal is to continue documenting the area during these days to back up this proposal.