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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Life out of the blue - Artificial Reef

 After 10years..

In 2005 we constructed an artificial reef in front of our diving center, at 7 meters depth using concrete blocks and stones. Our purpose was to study the growth of underwater life and to provide a more interesting environment for Discover Scuba dives, night dives and courses.. We couldn't imagine that after 10 years this place that we named Magiatika(Greek for greater amberjacks) will become a house for numerous species of marine life. Jacks like Trachinotus ovatus and coastal fishes are visiting almost every day, breams, and various sea basses, flat fishes, wrasses and reef fishes can be spotted all day long. Scorpion fishes are a frequent attraction like Largesclaled scorpionfish Scorpaena scrofa and a Small red scorpionfish Scopraena notata. We have seen also small rays especially Dayatis pastinaca. In 2013 brought along moray eels too,specifically a young mediterranean moray that stayed all summer in the Park.
  Crabs are walking on the stones, Gastropoda, bivalves and Cephalopoda are increasing in number almost all of the built blocks are occupied by octopuses, of the common Octapus vulgaris and the white spotted kind Octopus macropus. Although they usually
keep in their holes, observing passers by, sometimes they are playing
with the divers by extending their legs. We don't disturb them but since we see them daily, a simple hello is enough.Expect to see
Octapus macropus
cucumbers, urchins, worms, anemones, growing Bryozoa, flower corals, tunicates and even sponges! Sponges like aphysina aerophoba, Scalarispongia scalaris, irsinia oros, hamigera hamigera, ircinia fasciculata e.t.c are growing very slow and they attracted  in 2013, sea slugs adults and newborns!! Giant Doris, Hypselodoris picta, Hervia , Flabellina Affinis, Cratena peregrina, Thuridilla hopei, Hypselodoris orsinii, Tylodina Perversa,
European eel
all of them inhabited the house reef.  During a night dive we are happy to see also european eels and shrimps like stenopus spinosus, sepia officinalis and Loligo vulgaris.We are trying to preserve the natural habitat by not intervening or keeping species passing by that's why we don't feed them. We only protect the place, especially from ourselves, by not touching or bumping on the blocks. Magiatika dive site has become a unique spot for relax dives, macro underwater photography, DSDs and  night dives!!

Underwaterphotography:Yiannis Iliopoulos, Androniki Iliadou written by: Androniki&Katerina Iliadou
All images are from the artificial Reef "Magiatika"

A perfect camouflaged small Ray!

1 comment:

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