Marine Life: Seychelles And Scuba Diving

1248 words - 5 pages

Seychelles is considered to have some of the top scuba diving sites of the world. The marine life is plentiful enough to satisfy even the most imaginative underwater enthusiast, and the picturesque setting of the granite formations make delving into the blue waters a magical experience. The Seychelles offers a multitude of dive sites that are diverse and cater for all levels of experience.

The Seychelles is made up of the world’s most beautiful islands lying just four degrees south of the equator in the Indian Ocean. The 115 islands have a volcanic origin and consist almost entirely of granite. Mahe, La Digue, Praslin, Denis, Bird, Aride, Silhouette and several minor outcrops make up what is known as the inner islands. They are the remains of a submerged mountain range and lie on a plateau offering the unique choice of granite reef diving and the more common and widespread carbonate reefs. The impressive granite formations make excellent dens and magnificent swim-throughs for marine life and have a splendid mixture of both hard and soft corals, marking them as some of the best dive site in the world.

The outer, mainly uninhabited, islands comprise of Cocos, the Amirantes, Poivre, Desroches and the more remote ‘crown jewel’, Aldabra which is also a World Heritage Site. These sites offer wall dives, drift diving and drop-off dives where one can discover underwater caves and canyons, coral atolls and sand cays. They grant experienced divers a rare opportunity to investigate some less explored areas but can cater for beginners too.

MARINE LIFE

The Seychelles truly has reason enough to celebrate the sea and has earned its title for being a top diving destination. The marine life is diverse and rich in exotic fish, large pelagics, invertebrates and beautiful corals. The islands offer enough to interest the leisure diver, underwater photographer and marine biologist. Seychelles has four marine national parks, and more than 150 species of tropical reef fish have been identified.

The plankton eating Whale Sharks, known as the gentle giants of the ocean, are common guests to Seychelles waters between October and April when it is often possible to swim with them.

There is a Whale Shark Monitoring Programme run by the Shark Research Institute at some of the local dive centres in the Seychelles. These dive centres have programmes where visitors can aid in continuing research into the behaviour of these fantastic creatures.

Some of the other species likely to be sighted are giant moray eels, scorpion fish, eagle rays, ribbon-tailed stingrays and giant sting rays, lion fish, schools with thousands of fusiliers, jacks, barracudas, giant cod, soldier fish, squirrel fish, napoleon wrasse and giant groupers.

The ever good-natured bat fish, colourful butterfly fishes, parrot fishes, hawksbill and magnificent sea turtles can be seen, as well as the occasional dolphin. At night a kaleidoscope of brightly coloured soft corals and various...

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