After working in the seabed of Puerto del Carmen, within the B-CHARMED project, in collaboration with the Atlantic Biodiversity and Sustainability Association (ABAS), the University Institute ECOAQUA of the ULPGC and the Laboratory of Ecogeochemistry of Benthic Environments of Banyuls-sur-mer (LECOB-France), the Italian photojournalist would like to include some images in several television projects. His objective is " to tell a great adventure" that will serve to show young people that science is not boring, it is also a human adventure, that of discovering who we are and looking ahead".
The Italian photojournalist Roberto Rinaldi, member during 17 years of the last crew of the famous French marine researcher Jacques Cousteau, is already preparing a program for the Italian television RAI-1 about the black coral forests studied in the seabed of Lanzarote by researchers of the B-CHARMED project, led by ABAS and with the collaboration of the University Institute for Research in Sustainable Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (IU-ECOAQUA) of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC).
Rinaldi, who has worked side by side with the scientists of the B-CHARMED project during their dives off the coast of Lanzarote, intends to include the material obtained in a short television documentary that, in his words, "will serve to tell the story of a great adventure and serve as a testimony of great scientific discoveries".
B-CHARMED, the European project about the black coral forests living in the coastal area of Puerto del Carmen, in Lanzarote, studies the importance, role and extension of these marine habitats, which also supports "attached" various species of small invertebrates, also under study by the researchers. Researchers that Rinaldi defines as "adventurers" who are telling "what is happening on the planet".
According to his extensive experience as a cameraman specialized in underwater life, the Italian assures that "we are beginning to understand that the human being should not have only one perspective. He must be able to see a wider perspective, and the fact of diving underwater is not just go underwater, he should understand that this environment is part of an overall ecosystem. In other words, the whole world is one ecosystem in where there is no piece of the “car” that can be removed."
"The underwater world is just one piece of a wonderful machine," he adds, while hoping that his work in collaboration with researchers will serve "to tell the younger generations that science is not boring, it's not just books or libraries; it's also adventure, a human adventure, that of discovering who we are and looking ahead."
Rinaldi, who in 2012 also worked with the Italian authorities in the Costa Concordia disaster, on the island of Giglio, in Tuscany, filming the rescue and recovery of the ship and the area clean-up, is convinced that "human energy can also be oriented in a positive direction" and emphasizes that, while we advance in the conquest of space "the underwater world is still to be discovered". He feels th importance of “telling a scientific campaign like the B-CHARMED project, which tries to explore a black coral forest that how old is it? We don't know. Probably centuries or, perhaps, millennia? Or maybe it is among the oldest animals on the planet. We don't know.”
Thus, he says excitedly that "being faced all these questions means being in front of a new frontier for exploration, something that should excite us and we hope will excite young people".
The project has just completed its first official fieldwork campaign, which has served to study the species that inhabit these black coral forests, as well as to make the first current measurements, which showed some expected current flow interaction with the "underwater forest", says Lorenzo Bramanti, LECOB researcher. The next step, according to its principal investigator, Francisco Otero-Ferrer, will be the mapping of the forests, as well as the development of tools that allow us to categorize the species associated with them.
The initiative, which is expected to continue at least until the end of the year, aims to develop tools to generate maps of these unique ecosystems, analyze the species living in them and determine management measures to help their conservation. Thus, in Rinaldi's words, "a new frontier" is opened.
In this first campaign, which lasted 2 weeks off the coast of Lanzarote, in addition to Francisco Otero-Ferrer, from the Atlantic Biodiversity and Sustainability Association (ABAS), as principal investigator, and Roberto Rinaldi as cameraman, the researchers Fernando Espino, associated with the University Institute of Sustainable Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (IU-ECOAQUA) of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), main collaborator of the project, participated in this first campaign; together with Lorenzo Bramanti and Katell Guizien, researchers from CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) belonging to LECOB; as well as the PhD student of the ULPGC, Sandra Navarro Mayoral.
The B-CHARMED team is already working on the planning of the second campaign, which is scheduled for next April and whose work will focus mainly on the mapping of forests using acoustic tools.
This project is part of the European LIFE4BEST program, which receives funding from the European Union's LIFE Program, the French Biodiversity Office (OFB) and the French Development Agency (AFD).