Types of fish species you can spot while diving in the Balearic Islands
Can you picture yourself jumping overboard to immerse in the crystalline waters surrounding your private yacht? The Balearic Islands are one of the favorite places on earth for diving enthusiasts, as the seabed surrounding the islands is rich in species and underwater landscapes. Get your logbook out and keep your eyes wide open as you never know which species you will come across next, it can range anywhere from a turtle to a shark.
Your crew will make sure your diving equipment is ready for you and your friends and will assist you during your journey underwater.
In the Balearic Islands you have access to shallow bottoms all around the islands, less than 200 meters deep. In more distant areas the depth varies from 800 to 1,000 meters. The soils are generally rocky and sandy, and of course, there is no shortage of beautiful Posidonia meadows or coral reefs either.
One of the most appealing areas of the Islands to dive is the Menorca Channel, the water space between Menorca and Mallorca, which has been recognized as a Place of Community Importance. More than 1,600 different species have been spotted there, 58 of them protected.
This list of local fish will get you excited and prepare you to be able to identify the species you will spot in the Balearic Island’s sea during your diving adventure.
A long, narrow fish with dark lines that can grow quite large, over a meter in some cases. This fish speaks to the imagination as it is a well-known predator. It feeds on small fish, crustaceans and cephalopods and is usually more afraid of people than you have to be of the barracuda.
Loggerhead sea turtle
The loggerhead sea turtle is the only sea turtle that breeds in the Mediterranean sea. For more than a decade now, loggerhead sea turtles have been returning to different parts of the Mediterranean to lay their eggs. Loggerhead turtles are named for their large heads that support powerful jaw muscles, allowing them to crush hard-shelled prey like clams and sea urchins. They are an endangered species and can weigh as much as 200 kilos. Maybe you are the one lucky enough to find one!
Yes, this species of shark is also found in the Mediterranean. It is believed that mainly the females visit the Balearic coasts. During the month of July they have been spotted to give birth in the warm waters around the islands. Although this species is able to submerge as deep as 900 meters, they usually hunt between 3 and 25 meters deep, where their main source of food is concentrated. Like the barracuda, the white shark is associated with danger and attacks, but the probability of suffering a white shark attack is next to nothing, so no worries!
The conger is a large, gray fish, with no scales and a whitish belly. They can reach up to three meters in length but their usual size is 1.5 meters. The conger usually lives on sandy and rocky bottoms and remains hidden between rocks during daytime, so it will be a challenge to add this one to your logbook!
Truly one of those eye-catching fish, the body of the scorpora looks like a rock and the fish itself is covered by thorns. The scorpora hides in the sand or in rocky areas to go unnoticed. If you want to spot it, your best chance will be to dive between 15 and 70 meters deep, because that is the area where they hunt, feeding on mainly fish and crustaceans.
Photo Copyright: Mallorca Daily Bulletin
The oblada is one of the species of fish that you can see most often in the waters of Ibiza and Formentera. The oblada is a surface fish, which makes it not hard to spot while swimming in shallow waters. The oblada is probably one of the easiest fish to find and catch. They are oval in shape, silver in color and usually swim in groups of different sizes. They can measure up to 35 centimeters, but their average size is about 20 centimeters.
These fish usually move around in large groups or banks. The salpa is a very important species in the marine ecosystem of the Balearic islands, as adult feed on invasive algae, helping to protect the prized Posidonia meadows. It is very easy to find banks of salpas in rocky beds or on extensions of Posidonia. To recognize them is not complicated, because their golden stripes are very showy and characteristic. In case you were thinking of having your own catch of the day for dinner, don’t pick salpa to be on the menu! The salpa feeds mainly on toxic algae and ingesting them can produce hallucinations.
Grouper, on the other hand, is one of the most appreciated fish by restaurants in the Balearic islands and your chef will be delighted to prepare your fresh catch for you and your loved ones! The hunt is on for this fish with its imposing built, let’s see if you and your friends can catch one. They have a very robust body and are commonly seen in rocky areas where they feed using their suction force and strong jaws.
Probably one of the cutest fish species, the head of the seahorse is very similar to one of a horse. The seahorse is also the only fish that has its head at an upright angle to the rest of its body. On top of that, it has a different way of swimming than other fish species, as they adopt an upright position and are propelled by their dorsal fin. They are able to change color to blend in with the environment, especially with algae. This is a very important camouflage strategy in order to survive in the sea. The seahorse moves very slowly and by camouflaging can mislead its predators.
Although this fish is intriguing with its body in the shape of a snake, keep your distance when you spot one as they are very aggressive. Their bite is not poisonous, but can be painful. The moray eel, with its brightly colored skin, can measure up to 150 centimeters. They live in the cracks of the rocks, where they hide while waiting for some prey.
Which fish species were you able to spot or catch while diving in the turquoise water of the Balearics? While the crew puts away the diving equipment, oversized soft towels will be waiting for you onboard, next to your favorite cocktail. Maybe grouper will be on the menu tonight, while you have dinner on deck with your loved ones!
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