Shipwrecks full of Wildlife – in a Temperate Zone

By Richard Aspinall 5 years agoNo Comments


Over the years many a ship has been sunk deliberately for wildlife, and of course, many have also suck, often with tragic consequences for the folk on on-board – for the more usual ship-sinking reasons.  Either way, once they hit the bottom, ships become fascinating places for wildlife.

At twenty metres or so, this companionway forms a shelter for Anthias anthias.

At twenty metres or so, this companionway forms a shelter for Anthias anthias.

I’ve shared a few images of shipwrecks all over the world, but I don’t think I’ve shared this one from the Mediterranean, off the coast of north eastern Spain near Barcelona, to be exact.RCA_9762

What you notice straight away in these warm temperate waters, is how similar the wreck appears to those found in more tropical examples, it’s colorful, full of fish life and so forth, but there’s no coral growth of any note. True coral species in the Med are limited to a few species of cup corals, attractive as they are, they are not reef forming.

What we see here is a complex assemblage of hydrozoans, some gorgonians, and an awful lot of sponges, but what an impressive sight!

A pair of S. scrofa

A pair of S. scrofa


The fish life, is limited in its diversity compared to tropical waters, but there are many species recognizable as being related to their tropical counterparts, from the deep-water dwelling Anthias anthias, to Chromis chromis (very attractive as a juvenile), and various wrasse species.  My personal favorite is Scorpaena scrofa, from the Scorpionfish Family.  I just wish it didn’t keep turning up on so many menus.


Juvenile Chromis chromis

Juvenile Chromis chromis


 Richard Aspinall

  (480 articles)

Richard lives in Scotland where he works as a freelance writer and photographer. Richard writes for several magazines on topics as diverse as scuba diving, travel and wildlife.

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