The wonderful marine species of Lanzarote
Any nature lover and, particularly, any diving enthusiast should not miss out ona trip to the Canary Islands. This archipelago has a very rich and diverse marine ecosystem, perfect to live an adventure under the see.
If you are up for this, you will be able to discover many common species around the islands, but also the uniqueness of endemic fauna due to sea currents and the particular geographical and environmental features of each enclave.
But if we have to pick one up, we would say Lanzarote’ marine species will fascinate even beginner divers, due to the island’s position closer to the African continent and the active protection of their habitat.
Lanzarote's marine biodiversity
In the last decade several new marine species have been found in Lanzarote. Scientists who submerged to explore its waters have discovered new species of unknown molluscs and sponges. These findings mean that the coast of the island has become a site of great scientific interest.
Lanzarote coastline is home for Florida stone crabs, black-foot barnacles and burgaos among other species of molluscs, red mullets, loggerhead see turtles, chuchos, cuttlefishes, trumpet fishes, seahorses, bocineros, pejepienes, dolphins, monkfishes… As you can tell, marine life boasts diversity in the depths of this island’s waters.
Additionally, in its rocky sea floor brunettes stalk seized preys swimming near their hiding place. Gold coral an ancient polyp that makes large colonies, coexists with other marine species such as sea stars, yellow corals, viejas, green fishes…, that camouflage and swim in their arms.
The Marine Reserve in northern Lanzarote, which it also includes the island of La Graciosa
and the islets of Alegranza, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste, compose a maritime space of special interest. This protected area aims to regulate fishing and recreational activities for the conservation of marine species that inhabit it. In these waters you will be able to discover rosemary, abbots, vaquitas, viejas, groupers, horse mackerels, white mules, among others species. Beware, that if you want to dive in these waters you will have to apply for authorization beforehand.
Moreover, in La Graciosa you will also be able to find the largest concentration of gold coral in the world, a colony that was discovered by chance by an underwater cameraman in 2010.
Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, sanctuary for cetaceans
The diversity and quantity of cetaceans that inhabit the waters surrounding the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, have placed them in the focus of a campaign promoted by WWF to create a SANCTUARY FOR THE CETÁCEANS. The objective is to guarantee the preservation of the area for the conservation of the species and their habitat.
There are records of at least 29 species of cetaceans, including dolphins, beaked whales, pilot whales, sperm whales…, that live or pass through their migration through the waters surrounding these islands.
Dolphin and whale watching is an absolute pleasure. Here they feed, reproduce and raise their offspring. Hence we have the chance to see them every now and then in completely freedom jumping, playing or accompanying boats. It’s so fascinating to see these marine species in their natural habitat.
Although some of them are highly threatened by the impact of fishing, pollution, maritime traffic, oil surveys, noise pollution, etc. And for that reason we need to be respectful.
Lanzarote, a paradise for divers from all over the world
Lanzarote is a Biosphere Reserve, rewarding its land and sea, and one of the reasons why visitors love the island.
But its beauty is not only on the surface, as we said before, the underwater richness offers another Lanzarote landscape that attracts many diving enthusiasts from all around the world who end up discovering the diversity of its marine fauna and flora.
In Lanzarote, more specifically in the Chinijo Archipelago, there are species that are scarce or do not exist in other parts of the Canarian territory, such as the black croaker, the rosemary captain, the sama zapata. Some endemic species such as Black Fula (Abudefduf luridus), Abade (Mycteroperca fusc), Pejeperro or Vieja (Bodianus scrofa), Black brunette (Muraena augusti) are only found in this territory, in Azores, Madeira and Cape Verde.
In Lanzarote coastline diving enthusiasts will find wonderful spaces to be amazed by. Its volcanic bottom hides caves, extensive platforms, deep cliffs (veriles), volcanic tubes, sunken ships, coral forests.
Moreover, if you are not fond of diving, from the shore of any corner of the island you will be able to enter the sea to explore it too. Snorkeling will allow you to enjoy the diversity of landscapes, its colourful backgrounds and the richness of its fauna, just a few meters from the coast.
But all these marine wonders require our respect, committing to take care of the habitat of these species, avoiding extracting objects or touching them, interacting as little as possible with the fauna so that they don’t panic and, of course, avoiding waste, both liquid and solid, ending up at the sea. In this way, we will collaborate with Lanzarote in the protection of this fabulous biodiversity environment.
Atlantic Museum, art and new refuge for the marine species of Lanzarote
This museum was created on an artificial reef where sculptures by artist Jason deCaires Taylor rest on the seabed. Located between 12 and 14 meters deep, the concrete figures provide shelter to these marine species.
The Atlantic Museum is another tourist attraction for divers from all over the world, where to observe the fascinating marine fauna of Lanzarote, such as viejas, painted goats, spider crabs, saints, sole, tamboriles, barracudas, salemas, black mules, pejeverdes, pejelagartos, headbands, scarlet lady, morunos roosters, blacksmiths, bogas, octopus, groupers, anemones, garden eels, picopane brunettes, ascites, sea slugs, anemones, stubborn worms, and many more.
A ferry trip to get to know the marine species of Lanzarote
If you like nature, the sea and its mysteries, Lanzarote is your place. You will be able to cross from Fuerteventura on any of the ferries that, with several daily frequencies, depart for Lanzarote throughout the year. You will also be to take your diving equipment and discover under the sea the wonders that this island has.
But additionally, you will also have the chance to plan your excursion to Lanzarote with Líneas Romero in order to enjoy the landscape and wild nature of the sea aboard a luxurious catamaran.