Portugal: Gorringe Bank
The impressive Gorringe Seamount is located about 250 km southwest of Cape San Vicente. Its summit is located about 30 meters from the surface and its base is over 5,000 meters deep, so you can find a variety of species living in areas near the sea illuminated surface to those living in dark depths. In addition, due to its geographical location, species native to both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea call it home. In 2005, during Oceana’s last expedition to the area, onboard the Oceana Ranger research catamaran, the organization identified around 36 species that had never been previously documented in the seamounts of the Northeast Atlantic. The results were published in the report ‘Seamounts of the Gorringe,” which makes an initial characterization of this submarine elevation and has served as inspiration for other, more recent scientific research.
In the 2011 Expedition, Oceana documented over one hundred species with the help of an underwater robot (ROV). In 2012, Oceana found some species whose existence in the Gorringe Bank was unknown, such as black coral, hydrocoral, dogfish and bird’s nest sponges, but also litter and abandoned fishing gear.
The diversity of species, the high number of endemic species, as well as the high productivity around the Gorringe makes this one of the most unique seamounts in the East Atlantic, and its protection must be considered as urgent.