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Marine Places

Great Cut Reef

A distinctive wall reef divided by a deep, wide canyon giving the site its name. At the very end of the great cut, a crevice shelters grouper and schooling jacks. The seaward expanse of reef is home to schooling snappers, grunts, and numerous cleaning stations. Several tunnels run from the main cut to the seaward side of the reef, where scalloped hammerheads sometimes pass.

Points of Special Interest

1. Giant barrel sponge – One of the largest species of sponge in the Caribbean. They are usually found in slightly deeper water where wave action is low

2. Tunnels – This seaward section of the reef is riddled with narrow tunnels that run from the great cut to the seaward side of the reef, where scalloped hammerheads are sometimes seen

3. Stove-pipe sponge – The Caribbean’s largest variety of tube sponge. It is usually lavender in colour, but may also vary from cream to dark brown

4. Goby cleaning stations – Watch as gobies remove parasites from their client fish, who often open their mouths and gills wide for a thorough clean 

5. Schooling grunts – This mixed school includes bluestriped grunts, white grunts and caeser grunts. Grunts are thought to use the orientation of neighbours’ stripes to help stay aligned with the school

6. Grouper and jack crevice – Nassau grouper, tiger grouper, and black jacks school in this narrow crevice at the end of the great cut for protection from predators

7. Indigo hamlet zone – Indigo hamlets are a rare variety of hamlet found on the reef top at this site. Unlike other hamlets, who specialize in feeding on crustaceans, indigo hamlets eat mainly smaller fish

8. Sandtile fish zone – Several of these slender fish can be found in the sandy areas of the back-reef. They rarely stray far from their shelter - a meticulously built burrow in the sand

Species to Discover

Staghorn Coral, Black Jack, Cleaning Goby, Bluestriped Grunt, Sandtile Fish, Channel Clinging Crab, Yellowline Arrow Crab, Stove-pipe Sponge, French Angelfish, Threespot Damselfish, Giant Barel Sponge, Nassau Grouper, Indigo Hamlet, Scalloped Hammerhead Shark

Great Cut Reef Points of Interestzoom image
  • Location San Salvador Island, Bahamas
  • Dive Site 10-40 m (35-130 ft)
Great Cut Reef, San Salvador Island, Bahamaszoom image