Contiki chose to support Oceana's 2011 Oceana Ranger Mediterranean Expedition. From June-August, the catamaran was home to a team of highly qualified marine scientists, biologists and professional divers, using amazing remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) capable of reaching depths up to 900 meters, to collect deep underwater data, images, and video.
The long-term objective of this work? To contribute to the protection of 20-30% of European Union seas by 2020 (currently there are less than 1% of these seas covered by legal MPAs).
Oceana Ranger has been working in Mediterranean waters since 2005 doing this kind of work. Its research documents illegal fishing, areas of special environmental value and new/changing marine species. Oceana can then measure the on-going damage of destructive fishing practices to the marine environment.
The ultimate goal? Present the hard facts and findings to decision makers/policy makers (governments, etc) advocating for policy change to protect these waters, by creating new MPAs (marine protected areas).
Watch the Oceana guys tell you their story. And you can follow the expedition videos, photos and on-board blog.