Memories of my childhood and teenage years are strongly bound to the Cantabrian Sea, featuring long hours of sand and sea on the beach at La Salvé and the smell of fish salting and sardines from Laredo fishing port. There were few things I liked better than spending the afternoon on the wharf with a book and distracting myself by watching the waves and the hustle and bustle on the boats. Over the years I’ve seen how the fishing boats have decreased, the canning operations have disappeared, and the port has become a sea of concrete, increasingly hemmed in by buildings, with more and more moorings for recreational boats. Of the old fishing port there are only old photos and memories left.
Working at Oceana is teaching me how to put a name to the boats, the nets and the fishing gear that I couldn’t identify before. And a greater understanding of the species that live in the oceans and the dangers that threaten them.
The images of the seabed that cross my computer screen every day are tools that help to illustrate the hugely unknown depths of the sea and underscore accusations of illegal fishing practices. Peaceful ammunition that helps to show that life still exists in the oceans and that we need to preserve it for those still living on this planet long after we have gone.