On-board Diary: Sea horses and maërl on the sea floors

Author: Ana de la Torriente
Date: June 5, 2008



We had a good day today, two divers in the water and two in the ROV searching for two emblematic species, the sea horse (Hippocampus ramulosus) and maerl, a prairie of free floating red calcareous algae, both very typical in the estuaries in Galicia.

First, we dove near the island of Arousa, at 12 meters depth and surrounded by mussel platforms. Jorge and Pilar, two of the divers on board, were familiar with a population of autochthonous sea horses here, and that was our objective. The estuary in this area is beautiful, facing the Carraguerios beach. The area is full of mussel platforms and is well monitored because a boat visited us with three people on board in charge of keeping watch over the platforms. In the afternoon, we searched for maërl on the sea floors off the island of Benencia. We found more, and it was more beautiful, than what we expected. We filmed some great images today.