On-board Diary: The sponges have been taken!

Author: Silvia García
Date: August 19, 2013



We're back to Burriana, where our campaign will get to its end, but before it does, tomorrow we´re making one last stop in a mountain called Morrot de Dragonera at the north of Ibiza.

We can say that today was different from the other days after finishing our work in the escarpment. We visited some spots near to trawled areas where isidellas (bamboo corals) can be found engaged to these fishing gears at the south of Formentera. Unfortunately, as expected, we found some of these gorgonians (the few that still survive), in appalling conditions. At noon, we conducted a ROV immersion at the east of Formentera, looking for a beautiful sponge field Oceana filmed back in 2007. We found the rock on which they were and the net that was already hooked on it six years ago, but there were just two out of the hundreds of sponges that crowned this rock in past days. Two of them, yes… only two of them are in the same place, but the rest? Someone must have taken them. No sign, there is nothing left, and we cannot help ourselves of thinking that the fishing gears around us have something to do with the deterioration of what was once a magnificent habitat that had to be preserved in time.