Oceana Magazine: Winter 2010

In The Canaries: Unveiling Spain's African Jewel

By Emily Fisher

The Canary Islands are home to rich underwater ecosystems that are among the most vibrant in the world. Colorful gorgonians, black coral and rare sponge forests thrive here, thanks to a ban that has prevented bottom trawling in the region since 2005.

In 2009, the Ranger set sail for the Canaries, documenting this special place and many of  the unusual species that call it home. Over two months, the crew found a dozen species never before seen in the Canary Islands, and filmed many rare species, such as three-foot-tall glass sponges, Venus fly-trap anemones and lollipop sponges.