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March 11, 2011

Protecting the Seamounts in the Channel of Mallorca


OCEANAOur photographer captured this amazing shot of a golden anemone last year in Cap Blanc, Mallorca (Balearic Islands).

Last week the Spanish and Balearic governments announced their commitment to protect the seamounts of the Channel of Mallorca – one of the areas in the Spanish Mediterranean with the highest biodiversity levels.

Oceana has spent years documenting the organisms on and around the seamounts, and pushing for their protection. Currently there is not a single marine protected area in the Mediterranean designed to protect seamounts – that is why we are thrilled that this could be the first.

Protecting and correctly managing seamounts greatly benefits the species that live directly on these structures, as well as those present in the overlying water column. Thus, cetaceans like the bottlenose and striped dolphins, pilot whales, sperm whales, sea turtles, particularly the loggerhead turtle and other large pelagic species like tunas or some sharks will also benefit from the protection afforded to this area.

The work isn’t over, but a wonderful step has been made.