29 July 2007

A special day at Kalamos

“Date 26th of July, time 8:17, seven people on board, starting point Episkopi, sea state 3” were the very first research data collected after two days of strong wind and rough sea. We decided to follow route B in the clockwise direction. This route passes south of the island of Kalamos.

After having checked the Mytikas fish farm, we started the survey. All eyes were scanning the irregular sea surface for dolphin fins. A large number of birds were following fishing boats as fishermen discarded fish bycatch at sea. One hour later big splashes attracted our attention; we approached carefully and we noticed the presence of seagulls inspecting the sea surface broken by large fish catching their prey. We started again our survey and a few minutes later a small zig-zag movement on the sea surface was detected. A swordfish! We were surprised about this event, as in the last years sightings of this species of fish have declined. Swordfish, tuna and common dolphins have become increasingly rare due to overfishing of their main prey. This encounter prompted us to restart the survey with more interest and attention.

After another two hours we stopped briefly in a nice village on the island of Kastos. Just before approaching the harbour, water turbolence and foam were seen: a fish school jumping out of the water. A school of small tuna about 50 cm long was chasing other fish during spectacular predatory events. Occasional races, jumps and rapid movements in a feeding franzy. In a few minutes the group dispersed and we were left with the emotion of a wonderful experience. During our coffee break we could feel the intense emotion of these encounters. Then the survey started again.

Annalise Petroselli and Silvia Bonizzoni

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