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September 28, 2014

Mar de las Calmas

BY: Oceana Web


© OCEANA / Enrique Talledo


Spirits renewed, we set off today to make up for the lost time, so we conducted three dives: the first two dives were done in Punta del Cascajo, and the last one in la Punta del Azufre, in the Mar de las Calmas.

The first dive was at approximately 860 m deep, where we found a coral reef formed by Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata. These may be the first images of these living species in the Canary Islands. The hexactinellid sponges keep appearing at these depths. We also took a sample of another interesting carnivorous sponge, yet to be identified. The second dive was carried out in the same point but at shallower depths between 70 and 100 m. There we found species like the gorgonian Ellisella paraplexauroides, bearded fireworms (Hermodice carunculata), Canary damsels (Abudefdub luridus) and Guinean puffers (Sphoeroides marmoratus).

On the second immersion point, we went back to the depths (650-800m), bumping into an unexpected visitor: a Bluntnose Sixgill female shark (Hexanchus griseus), from which we got some stunning images. It is a privilege to watch these animals so closely, at 800 meters deep, through the ROV´s HD camera. Another noteworthy species were the sea urchin (Phormosoma placenta), black corals (Bathipathes sp.), crinoids Koehlermetra porrecta and the silver roughy (Hoplostethus mediterraneus).