On-board Diary: The seabed in the Gulf of Valencia

Author: Silvia García
Date: August 13, 2013

Today, we conducted some ROV immersions in two of the many areas affected by the hydrocarbon prospection projects currently taking place in the Gulf of Valencia. Permits for these types of projects have been granted over the past few years despite the fact that they jeopardize the seabed and the rich ecosystems that call it home. The environmental impact studies that support these projects barely provide any information about what actually exists there.

Just as we did in Malaga back in 2010, we found a new habitat (for the Mediterranean). At around 800 meters below sea level, in an area that is at risk from a Capricorn Cairn project, we spotted a forest of stone sponges, which is often associated with many other species, including some of great commercial value.