Is The Mediterranean Really That Great A Scuba Diving Destination?
The Mediterranean has a surface area of 2.5 million km2, but in terms of the world’s oceans, the Mediterranean is pretty small (0.32% of the total ocean volume)!..
...and yet it is full of wonderful creatures.
There are around 12,000 marine macroscopic species found in the Mediterranean (that works out to be 5% of the estimated total number of marine macroscopic species found in all the worlds seas/oceans...pretty impressive considering its size!)
20% of all marine species in the Mediterranean are endemic.
Turtles! - there are lots of them. There are 7 species of turtle in the world and 5 of these beauties (Green, Leatherback, Hawksbill, Loggerhead, Kemp’s Ridley) have been found in the Mediterranean. Although, there is only one record of the Kemp’s Ridley, and only the Green and Loggerhead breed in the Mediterranean.
Sh sh shaark! (ok. maybe I’ve seen Jaws too many times)...but these wonderful animals are found here. In fact, 47 species of shark are found in the Mediterranean! There was even a fatal Great White shark attack off the coast of Malta in the 1950s. BUT unfortunately your chances of seeing sharks are slim. Sadly, sharks are under serious threat in the Med as there are no catch limits. According to scientific study - 5 (Blue, Smooth Hammerhead, Thresher, Porbeagle, Shortfin Mako) of the 20 large predatory sharks found in the Med have declined by a whopping 97% over the last 200 years.
Dolphins! The Common Bottlenose Dolphin, Short-beaked Common Dolphin, Striped Dolphin and the Risso’s Dolphin are found in the Mediterranean.
Whales! The Fin Whale, Sperm Whale, Long-finned Pilot Whale and the Cuvier’s Beaked Whale are found in the Med. Apparently a killer whale was once spotted off the coast of Italy!
Seals! Monk Seals have breeding colonies in Greece and have been spotted off the island of Mallorca, Morocco and Algeria. There is also a plan to reintroduce Monk Seals to the Costa Brava (to Cala Jugadora, Cadaques, Cap de Creus headland) by 2014. The Monk Seal Reintroduction Plan needs sign off by the Spanish Ministry of Environment.