Staff Reporter
A SIX month Pacific crossing of one of the largest existing catamarans in the world has finally ended in Palma.
The catamaran, Ocean Ranger, set out on her long voyage back in January. The trip was arranged in order to study the biodiversity and state of the oceans, and was organised by the International Organisation for Defending Ocean Seas (Oceana). During the voyage, the catamaran travelled 11'000 miles with a rotating crew of 30 people, which included 17 scuba divers and a team of biologists.
Between them they filmed 100 hours of underwater images and took 7'000 photographs, through which the scientists were able to study and document the migration route of marine turtles, in order to help protect them. The director of the project, Xavier Pastor (a former head of Greenpeace-Spain), said the main dangers in the sea concern the types of fishing which damage coral reefs and fish as well as the extinction of species that are not even known about. The most threatened animals are whales, he said, even though there is a worldwide ban on whale hunting, there are still some countries which break the law. The trip was also organised to study the state of the sea, and the principal finding was that big cruise ships need to improve their waste systems, so as not to continue contaminating the sea. With regards to the Balearics, Xavier Pastor, commented on the good general state of the water, that has only a small amount of pollution, although he did criticise the amount of building taking place in coastal regions, as well as the over-exploitation of the sea by trawlers.

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