Dispatches from Ranger: La Palma - Oceana USA
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September 24, 2009

Dispatches from Ranger: La Palma

In this dispatch, the divers witness the benefits of creating marine reserves. See the other dispatches here. La PalmaMonday, September 14, 2009Eduardo SorensenToday we had the chance to dive within the La Palma Marine Reserve. After processing the relevant permits, we obtained authorization to dive. Once there, the first thing we did was contact Tamia Brito, the marine reserve’s technician and coordinator. While we divers were diving between Punta del Hombre and Punta Resbaladera, Tamia was aboard the Ranger, learning about our work and giving us advice on the best spots within the reserve and the differences between them.The conditions were ideal: calm sea and sun. As soon as we started diving, we were able to observe very good visibility. We began at a depth of 10 meters where we could already see ocean catfish, moray eels and trumpetfish. The volcanic rock on the bottom forms very irregular structures such as caverns, passageways and rocky tongues that invite us to descend and see what lies beyond. The spot’s good visibility shows us how the underwater passage dramatically changes at around 30 meters. At this depth, the species that accompany us are mainly gray triggerfish, blue roosterfish, grunt bream, horse mackerel, and far away and even deeper, a group of amberfish.Once again we confirmed the benefits of creating protected areas or reserves. As soon as you submerge into the reserve, a healthy ecosystem becomes evident, and this is reflected in, among other details, the trusting attitude of the fish toward the divers.