Expeditions | Oceana

Canary Islands Expeditions

Documenting the Canary Islands

Oceana has conducted two expeditions to the Canary Islands to document and map the region's biodiversity.

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Overview

Oceana has completed two expeditions to document and study the rich biodiversity around the Canary Islands. Most recently, Oceana in Europe traveled to the Canary Islands in 2014 to document its marine ecosystems in order to develop relevant policy that push for protections in the area. This expedition complimented Oceana’s 2009 expedition, which focused on documenting marine life around several other seamounts to help Spain make progress towards protecting different marine habitat.

The one-month 2014 expedition via the Oceana Ranger focused on El Hierro Island, which boasts highly diverse and valuable marine habitats and species. The expedition aimed to map and gather more information about seamounts north of Lanzarote, the easternmost Canary Island, and around Sahara, the southernmost point of the Spanish Exclusive Economic Zone, to help grow the body of knowledge about these areas and advance their protective measures.  Oceana conducted over ten dives with a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) at depths from 260 to 3,200 feet around El Hierro Island, as well as several others with actual divers in shallower areas.

El Hierro boasts highly diverse and valuable marine habitats and species, which led Oceana to propose the protection of its waters already in 2011. That same year, an underwater volcano erupted south of the island and in 2014 El Hierro became the first island in the world to use 100 percent renewable energies, making the island unique from an environmental point of view.

View all expedition photos on Flickr here.

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