Oceana creates an interactive 3D tool to plunge into the Ibiza Channel

Oceana has completed the analysis of all the images filmed in Nao Mound and the Formentera Morrot two seamounts that are hardly known.

Press Release Date: March 19, 2013

Location: Madrid


Marta Madina | email: mmadina@oceana.org | tel.: Marta Madina

The project, in collaboration with Fundación Biodiversidad, includes its description, cartography, virtual flight, and archiving in Google Earth.

Oceana has created a 3D interactive tool with photographs and videos of the Nao Mound and the Formentera Morrot seamounts, in the Ibiza Channel. This instrument is a huge advance in knowledge of these elevations, as hardly anything is known about them. This project, carried out in collaboration with Fundación Biodiversidad, will be included in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and the Environment Spanish Inventory of Natural Heritage and Biodiversity.

“Contributing to knowledge of the oceans is a first step towards their conservation”, says Jorge Ubero, GIS analyst at Oceana. “The Earth surface has been mapped in practically its entirety, but there is a delay of centuries as regards the seas, which is proven by the fact that we are providing images taken in Spanish waters which have never been seen before. In addition to being a pioneering organisation in the use of ROVs, Oceana has clearly placed a bet on geotechnologies to facilitate the conservation of deep-sea and open-sea areas”.

Starting today, you can take a virtual flight, navigate in Google Earth and view the list of species filmed in these two seamounts in the Ibiza Channel. Called the Nao Mound and the Formentera Morrot by Oceana, they are located between the Valencia coast and the Balearics, in a corridor frequented by such cetaceans as the common fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus). Species under threat and species of commercial interest have also been filmed in them.

“Seamounts attract a great degree of biodiversity as they house very different habitats at different depths and nutrients concentrate in them. However, little is known about them due to the difficulty of studying them, and this delays the approval of conservation measures. A precautionary approach should be applied, not waiting for exhaustive studies, as by then it might be too late”, says Ricardo Aguilar, Director of Research of Oceana in Europe.

Further information: Ibiza Channel (new web section)