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September 21, 2014

First immersion in El Hierro – Punta del Pesquero

BY: Oceana Web


© OCEANA / Carlos Minguell


We woke up at the foot of el Hierro´s cliffs and we launched the ROV into the water. Despite being at just 600 meters away from the coast, the depth recorded reached over one thousand meters. In fact, this was the maximum depth (1006 m) ever reached in a campaign conducted by Oceana.

During the descent we encounter the first surprise: a Bigeye thresher shark (Alopias superciliosus) that elusively appeared right in front of the lens of the ROV. At the bottom, we found again a great variety of glass sponges (sp Regadrella, Aphocallistes beatrix, etc.) as well as deep-sea fish like the Pink frogmouth (Chaunax pictus) and sharks like the Arrowhead dogfish (Deania sp).

Another interesting finding was the presence of a giant foraminifera (Syringaminna cf. fragillissima) –xenophyophores can be found at 10,000 m deep- and the presence of black corals as Bathipathes sp., Parantipathes sp. Antipathella wollastonii  deeper than 620 m, which could be considered a record (to be confirmed).