On-board Diary: Els Freus Marine Reserve: La Plataforma and Gastabi island

Author: Ricardo Aguilar
Date: September 10, 2006

The condition of the sea continues to be perfect for our work. In the morning we had arranged to meet the people from the Marine Reserve, who are helping us to locate dive zones. We will be starting with a sandy sea bed with a few thickets of Posidonia oceanica where a metal structure has sunk which is being covered by native flora and fauna. This is a regular haunt of yellowmouth barracuda (Sphyraena viridensis) and dusky grouper (Epinephelus marginatus).

In the afternoon we concentrate on a large meadow of Posidonia oceanica which finishes next to a rocky area so we can take samples of both environments. Among the rocks, a shoal of Mediterranean cleaner shrimps (Lysmata seticaudata) are cleaning a Mediterranean moray (Muraena helena). As part of the meadow is growing from a rocky sea bottom, in some areas you can find a variety of big sea sponges, Ircinia fasciculate, or of the Cacospongia and Sarcotragus genus.