The seabed of Port-Cros

The Mediterranean sea , shallow and almost closed in, is unique because of its underwater scenery: seagrass beds of Posidonia and coral beds.

Posidonia,a flowering plant, form a vast bed or meadow that covers 50% of the area of the seabed. A major oxygen provider, it serves as a nursery and refuge for a extensive and varied wildlife.

No less than 70 species of fish can be spotted there: goldlines (salema porgy), small white seabeams , painted combers , wrass, not to mention numerous invertebrates such as sea urchins, octopus and starfish, and the largest of them, the noble pen shelf (fan mussel), a clam-shell that has become very rare today.

Deeper are the coral beds, the most beautiful rocky bottoms of the Mediterranean sea where divers are surprised at the colorful profusion of algae and animals.

Treelike colonies of yellow or red sea fans adorn the vertical walls.

There are many marine sand worms,in their membranous tubular shelter, their plume of filters waving in the water..

This is also the area of large carnivores: the impassive dragon-like red scorpionfish, the moray eels fast to snap a passing-by octopus,the conger eels that can be up to 2 meters long.

But the king of the area certainly is the dusky grouper. Once abundant, it was a victim of intensive harpoon-hunting, just like the brown meager and the dentex.

Thanks to the now protected areas, it has been able to survive and, more recently, thanks to a new regulation (underwater fishing has been prohibited along the coasts since 1993, and by the end of 2002 angling was prohibited too), the number of red scorpionfish has increased significantly.

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Our advice on local rules

  • You are diving in a protected area that you must respect!