On-board Diary: Rescuing a wounded gannet
Author: Silvia García, marine scientist
Date: September 25, 2012
We still can’t go sailing so although unplanned, we decided to go on dive. Our divers were able to find a corner of the coast sheltered from the waves overlooking Roquetas de Mar, and dive into a magnificent posidonia seagrass meadow, one of the last barrier reefs preserved in Spain. Fortunately, it is included in the LIFE + Posidonia project launched by Andalusia, and will result in a series of management measures for the conservation of Andalusian seagrass plains, to stop destructive activities like trawling and illegal dredging, which is frequent in the area.
Today, we also had a chance to help catch a wounded gannet that was in port. A woman came to tell us about the pelican, so we called Emergency services – who sent an environmental technician - and we got in touch with members of the PROMAR foundation, who are taking care of a striped dolphin in the harbor entrance. Gannets have a rather dangerous beak, but a woman from the PROMAR team had experience with these animals, so Mario, the Captain of Ranger, offered to take the dinghy out to try and catch it.
We formed a team of six between us all and managed to catch it, but not without a few dangerous moments, because during the struggle the bird was almost took out the eye of one of the rescuers. Eventually, the technician took the bird to the Centre for Endangered Species Recovery of Almeria. It was a juvenile and its left wing was shattered. Hopefully it will recover.
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