Blog article by Paoletta (Paola Saviano)
In the spring of 2023 I decide to leave for Albania, thanks to the intervention of friends I manage to get in touch with Simone Modugno, who proposes to me, and I accept practically immediately, to participate in a small expedition with a few other people to leave and get to know the submerged wonders of Albania.
Yes, I wrote “wonders” because Albania with its crystal clear sea hides real submerged treasures: along the coasts of the land of the eagles, nature and history meet, allowing the diver to know and experience the natural and historical identity of this country, beautiful and tormented at the same time.
In Saranda, a tourist town in the extreme south along the Albanian coast, during a dive on the “Probitas” motor vessel, I was about to begin the ascent when I had a strange encounter. I confess that I pinched my cheek, wondering if mine was a vision of “narcosis” or rather the aftereffect of the “hangover” from Rakì (Albanian grappa) of the night before (JOKE!) and above all if I was really in Mediterranean Sea… a few meters deep, in fact, about halfway along the side of the wreck, I met a Lionfish (Pterois miles)… what about you? what are you doing here? I thought to myself.
I snapped a photo on the fly and, once I got to the surface, I immediately talked about it to Simone who thought it appropriate to report the sighting (at the moment he is writing an article of our report) as it is a species not typical of our seas and potentially very dangerous: a real invasive alien species. Among other things, it has already been reported and is being monitored by the researchers of ISPRA Ambiente, where there have not yet been any major sightings (on the official website) along the Albanian coasts… we were the first!
Hence the importance of knowing but above all of educating about the sea, our dearest environment.
Thanks again to Simone for the wonderful adventure he made me live, but above all for the knowledge of biology and culture of the sea that he made available and shared with us, an important school for our future and for that of the sea that we love so much.