Landscape: Beautiful island of Madeira all lighted up in the night, looks like lava flowing down the mountain.
Weather: Clouds: 7/8 Southeast 20 m/s
Temp: 16 degrees
Distance: 114 km
Average distance: 73 km
Total distance: 1690 km
Position: 32.718140, -17.172900
Health/emotions: All over the place! We are relieved, frustrated, happy, disappointed and exhausted all at the same time.
Description of the day
The waves were still huge and the wind was turning east by the hour, but we kept fighting through the morning to try get to Madeira. Finally we realized that there was no way we could make it by our own devices, and most of the day was then spent discussing and evaluating options to avoid being blown into the vast and empty northwest Atlantic. Måns’ wife Yuliya was on shore in Madeira negotiating with the local authorities, cutting through bureaucracy and politics. Finally the Portuguese Navy and the sea rescue organisation Sanas came to help us, and we were towed the remaining distance to Madeira. Their rib boat engaged us after midnight, we set up the towing ropes and pushed through the waves towards Calheta harbour. Three hours later we reached the harbour entrance, the waves were crashing ten meters up into the air and we had to abort the first attempt before making it through the narrow passage into the marina. Our first footsteps on the docks felt strange, difficult and extremely relieving. We exchanged greetings, gratitude and high fives with the Sanas team, before finally heading off to sleep.
Coalition Clean Baltic- Save the baltic porpoise
In December 2020 and September 2021, BALTFISH submitted so-called joint recommendations to the European commission on seasonal or full-year closures of static net fisheries in some harbour porpoise protected areas in the Baltic. These joint recommendations are now being transposed by the European commission to a delegated act that will hopefully be adopted by the European Parliament in late 2021 or early 2022.
While the closures of static net fisheries within harbour porpoise protected areas will contribute to decreasing the bycatch of porpoises, it is not enough. Bycatch mitigation is needed in the entire range of the Baltic Proper harbour porpoise. This can be in the form of alternative fishing gear that does not cause bycatch, pingers that make porpoises avoid fishing nets, or closures of fisheries in high-risk areas.
Using the results from studies on harbour porpoise life history and effects of PCBs, there might be as few as 88 fertile females left in the Baltic Proper harbour porpoise population. These few individuals are the only ones who can give birth to new Baltic porpoises to ensure that the population recovers. These females are incredibly valuable, and we cannot afford to lose a single one of them to bycatch or any other human threat.
It has been calculated that the Baltic Proper harbour porpoise population is in immediate risk of extinction if bycatch exceeds 0.7 animals per year. This means we basically have to achieve zero bycatch for this population to survive.
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
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