Researching Our Seabeds

Spanish, marine biologists are examining the biological health of the fauna and flora on the seabeds off Spain southern coastline.

COS Offshore Cross SectionProyecto Meso Alborán is a research project, belonging to the Fundación Museo del Mar de Ceuta which is working with the Spanish Central Government to develop Programa Pleamar. European funds are involved.

As its name indicates, it is the area of the Mar de Alborán where it seeks to improve knowledge about submarine cliffs, canyons and other rocky-reef habitats of interest for the maintenance of the fishing stock and the marine protected areas of the Alborán Sea.

In fact, there are geomorphological (relating to the form or surface features of the Earth) units in the Alborán Sea, mainly canyons and escarpments, whose circa-littoral communities are practically unknown. The circa-littoral area is the region below the algal zone and dominated by sessile animals such as mussels and oysters.

Areas that they will have special attention paid to them will be the Calahonda Canyon and the protected area of the cliffs off Calahonda-Castell de Ferro, using ROVs and autonomous diving equipment

Another area is the Guadalfeo Canyon and small cliffs in the protected areas of the cliffs and seabeds off the Tesorillo-Salobreña, as well as off the Punta de la Mona, again using ROVs and divers.

In short, examining the seabed between 25 and 150 metres down (where there is little sunlight filtering down) in those three areas, for instance, they hope to improve what we know about it and armed with this knowledge, improve the health of fishing grounds.

The project covers a much wider area, not only between the Isla de Alborán and the Spanish coast, but between the island and the Moroccan coast, too; hence Ceuta being involved.

(News: Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

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