Report | octubre 13, 2010

The first Mediterranean symposium on the coralligenous and other calcareous bio-concretions

In 2006 and 2007, Oceana carried out several investigations on four Western Mediterranean seamounts, finding red algae bio-concretions down to 150-160 meters depth. The areas surveyed were the Ausias March seamount and the Emile Baudot seamount in the Mallorca Channel (Balearic Islands), the Chella Bank (Andalusia-Alboran Sea) and the Palos seamount (in front of Palos Cap, in Murcia). More than 40 hours of video material was collected with an ROV. Species known only to be in shallow waters, like carnivorous sponges (Asbestopluma hypogea), were found on small seamounts with peaks between 80 and 170 meters depth. Sponge aggregations were filmed on coralligenous beds and new data on the distribution of anthozoans (e.g., Paramuricea macrospina) was recorded. Nearly 300 species living on these bottoms were identified, giving new perspectives on their range and habitat dependence and preferences.