Biotopes: the “magic rocks” that get marine life’s attention

You’ve surely spotted the orange or yellow buoys which cordon off the swimming areas at the beach more than once. To keep the current or wind from moving the buoys, smooth concrete blocks are typically placed on the seafloor.

But along the Tarragona coast, these concrete blocks are being replaced by biotopes: two-ton, artisan-crafted structures that anchor the buoys and double up as artificial reefs. Seaweed, sponges, and all sorts of invertebrates live on the surface, while the structures’ nooks and crannies offer refuge to countless fish.

The biotope parks located off the coast of Altafulla and Torredembarra have not only become another local tourist attraction, but also offer people with reduced mobility the chance to get up close to the seafloor. Thanks to the work done by HSA Spain and Fundación Guttmann, these people can enjoy a comfortable diving experience just a few feet away from the beach at a depth of 16 feet (5 meters).

This video takes us diving under the waters of the Costa Dorada to get a firsthand look at these artificial reefs created by sea enthusiast Miquel Rota, who is also founder of a diving school in Port Torredembarra (Tarragona).

Repsol has an industrial facility in Tarragona, and for years has supported this initiative to cultivate marine life and contribute to increasing the coast’s richness and diversity. In just a few years, over 100 biotopes have been laid on the seafloor.

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