Marine Life in El Hierro (Part 2)

Black moray eel (Muraena augusti) with large white eyes, El Hierro. Moray eels actively pump water in and out of their open mouths which is often mistaken as threatening. They have excellent sense of smell.

This is the second article about scuba diving and marine life in El Hierro. The waters around La Restinga are a marine reserve, and underwater life is rich with diverse animals in the clear waters. There are triggerfish, pufferfish, parrotfish, zebra seabream, porcupinefish, trumpetfish, garden eel and moray eel, dusky grouper, barracuda, greater amberjack, red scorpionfish, slipper lobster, tube-dwelling…… Continue reading Marine Life in El Hierro (Part 2)

Marine Life in El Hierro (Part 1)

A dusky grouper (Epinephelus marginatus) curiously approaches. Dusky groupers can grow up to 1.5 metres length and live over several decades. They are an endangered species due to overfishing.

El Hierro sits on a ridge on the 3’500-metre-deep seabed, making it a dive spot with rich biodiversity. As marine biology is an overwhelming field, I’ve compiled a simplified and incomplete scheme. The abundant marine life in El Hierro can be classified into bony and cartilaginous fish, whales, crustacea, molluscs, Anthozoa (anemones, corals, and gorgonians), and…… Continue reading Marine Life in El Hierro (Part 1)

Angel Sharks

An Angel Shark (Squatina squatina) lies at the rocky ground in Fuerteventura. Angel Sharks were common in the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean, but commercial fishing has decimated the population via bycatch. Angel Sharks are a now critically endangered species. The Canary Islands are home to almost all of the remaining Angel Sharks population.

Angel Sharks are an unusually flat-bodied genus of sharks and grow to a length of 1.5 meter. Angel Sharks once were common in the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean, but commercial fishing has decimated the population via bycatch. Angel Sharks are a now critically endangered species. The Canary Islands, hundred kilometres off the African west coast, are home…… Continue reading Angel Sharks