1.- The world of gorgonians and corals

The coralligenous

Gorgonians and corals are part of one of the most biodiverse marine habitats: coralligenous ones.

There are many sessile organisms, i.e., ones that are fixed to the rock, such as calcareous algae, bryozoans, sponges, polychaetes, tunicates... but gorgonians and corals are the most colourful organisms due to their size and treelike shape. They form true forests which burst forth in colour, illuminated by our torch.

In addition to giving structure to a habitat, gorgonians and corals are an excellent indicator of the state of conservation of the Costa Brava seabed, however, unfortunately they are threatened by the warming seawater due to climate change.

1.- The world of gorgonians and corals

Our recommended dive: Els Ullastres

Recommended depth
20-30 m
Maximum depth
35 m

Ullastres is a stunning diving point. Located in front of Calella de Palafrugell - Llafranc, there are three pinnacles that rise from the seabed without reaching the surface.

Known as Ullastres I, II and III, each of one gets deeper and farther away from the coast and they stand out for their vertical walls of gorgonians.

The dives around these pinnacles are wall dives. At Ullastres I we will begin our descent down the anchor line and once at the bottom we begin a descent on the north face, up to the maximum planned depth. We will follow a crack that we will find in the bottom and go back up in a spiral shape while observing the yellow and purple gorgonian walls.

The Ullastres are a diving point exposed to currents and waves, therefore it is necessary to choose a day with the appropriate conditions and divers must have an advanced level.

In addition to the walls of gorgonians and corals, the site stands out due to the large number of invertebrates without any feet or heads. We can also see some great groupers and schools of fish such as the barracudas that come near to the rocks. Given that it is a diving point which is exposed to the open sea, throughout the year attention must be paid to the deep blue sea and the special fish that are hidden there. Despite the large number of large-sized organisms, we must not forget all the small-sized animals, such as nudibranchs, which hide on the surrounding seabed. With the help of an eco-guide, we sure not to miss a single detail.

Remember that gorgonians and corals are very delicate organisms that must never be touched. We must monitor our buoyancy well and ensure we don’t kick the seabed with our fins.

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