Victory | December 4, 2014

Seco de los Olivos Seamount Protected after 5-Year Project

Seco de los Olivos (aka Chella Bank) was chosen for protection within Natura 2000, the network that gathers together the most valuable natural areas of the EU. Oceana spent five years studying this seamount in south east Spain. Its range of depths varies between 76 and 700 metres below the surface, so it could only be surveyed with an ROV (submarine robot). Vulnerable and endangered species were discovered, including several shark and coral species, and a glass sponge new to science. Seco de los Olivos is also a nursery area for several fishes of commercial interest, such as hake, and is a good example of the importance of seamounts as biodiversity hotspots. It is one of ten areas included in LIFE+ INDEMARES, a vast project partnered by Oceana that eventually protected 7 million marine hectares across Spain.