As we wrote about last week, the EU has taken some major steps toward a strong Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). That could mean less overfishing, better protection for endangered species, and an overall healthier ocean. Just a day after that agreement was reached, it seems that the CFP principles are set up for their first test.
This yearâ€™s expedition in the Mediterranean and Portuguese Atlantic has come to a close, and weâ€™re proud to report that it was a resounding success.
The highlight of the Ranger's journey was Portugalâ€™s Gorringe seamount, which is recognized as a hotspot in the region but has not been extensively explored.
The base of the Gorringe seamount is more than 15,000 feet deep, while its peaks are just about 100 feet deep. Need a visualization? Take one of the United Statesâ€™ tallest peaks, such as Washingtonâ€™s Mount Rainier, submerge it under water, and add a bunch of spectacular marine life. There you have it.
The expedition team found kelp forests, deep-sea sponge fields, black coral forests, extensive oyster beds and over 100 different species including spotted dolphins, minke whales, sea pens, slipper lobsters and fish such as orange roughies, longspine snipefish, morays and conger eels.
During the expedition, a team of scientists and divers collected photos and video footage and an underwater robot (ROV) recorded high-resolution images on the sea beds down to nearly 2,000 feet deep.
Oceana could win 30.000â‚¬ (more than $40,000) to protect threatened seamounts in the Mediterranean, but only if you vote!
The decision follows intense campaigning by our European colleagues, who estimate that more than 500 vessels have been operating illegally in the Mediterranean, some with nets up to 12 miles long. Itâ€™s estimated that thousands of creatures, including whales, dolphins, sharks and sea turtles, are trapped by the indiscriminate fishing gear each year.