A project that consists of replanting gorgonians in poor condition.

This project is focused on trying to recover gorgonians from the Ullastres themselves, specifically the red gorgonian (Paramuricea clavata).
Gorgonians, even though they don't look like it, are animals, specifically octocorals (cousins of reef-forming corals). They are suspensivorous organisms, that is to say, they take advantage of the current to capture small prey (such as small crustaceans) on which they feed. They have very vivid red and yellow colors that divers fall in love with.

Due to storms and fishing nets, some gorgonians are thrown into the deepest part of the Ullastres. These gorgonians are not completely lost, so the idea of this project is to take these gorgonians and bring them to an aquarium that we have in the same diving center. Before putting them in the aquarium, we fragment the branches that still contain the living polyps. This aquarium has the necessary conditions (temperature, light, current and food) for the gorgonia to survive. After a week, the gorgonians are returned to the Ullastres where we plant them on the wall with a special glue called epoxy. It is important to put it at a suitable depth for the water temperature (approximately 30 meters) and also in a correct position so that it takes advantage of the current. At each replanting we note how deep and where the gorgonia is so that it can be tracked.
With this project, the Ullastres ecosystem is expected to improve thanks to the increase in gorgonians, which are ecosystem engineers, as they play a key role in the biomass, structure and biodiversity of marine communities.

pòlips d’una gorgònia sana
Detailed image of the polyps of a healthy gorgonian (Paramuricea clavata). They are open as they are feeding. All together they form a colony.
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