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October 2, 2014

Volcano of La Restinga

BY: Oceana Web


© OCEANA / Carlos Minguell


Although at first it was not part of our plans, after detecting some anomalies in the bottom of Mar de las Calmas (areas with dead black corals (Antipathella wollastonii ) for no apparent reason), we decided to pay a visit to the famous underwater volcano. This is a very special spot, since the volcano erupted back in 2011 and we were all very curious to see how it had evolved. Although the summit is at only 80 meters deep, the currents prevented us to have it easy.

The bottom, as expected, was full of black stone blocks of different sizes. Although there was not much life, some colonizing species (Porifera, black corals, hydroids, polychaetes, echinoderms, etc.) begin to find their way and slowly start covering the area. Big banks of goldfish (Anthias anthias) with some blacktail combers (Serranus atricauda) appeared out around the summit and from larger blocks. Even a curious shark we could not identify approached.

We made a couple of dives earlier at about 500m deep in the west (Punta de la Dehesa and Roques del Barbudo). We found vertical walls and stones covered by lush Acanthogorgias, there was also black corals (Gerardia sp.), Candinellas and a colony of Dendrophyllia alternata.