The preservation of the environment is the responsibility of all the people who inhabit the world. Currently, our Mediterranean Sea is at high risk, and few people know the utility and importance of the oceans. For this reason, today, we will talk about a single element, among thousands existing in the oceans, but which is of great importance for the protection of saltwater ecosystems: the gorgonians or Gorgoniidae. 

What are gorgonians?

First of all, we must mention that the Gorgoniidae are essential elements for the preservation of aquatic ecosystems, it is an organism that fulfills the same function as trees, however, it belongs to the animal kingdom, and despite having an Arborescent morphology, they are considered an extensive colony of octocoralarian polyps, capable of living and reproducing in the substrate.

The Gorgoniidae have a beautiful three-dimensional and colorful appearance, they not only help to preserve marine life but also offer us the most beautiful seascapes. In addition, this colony of polyps reproduces perpendicular to the sea current, providing the necessary oxygen to the other members that are part of the colony.

How many species are there?

Currently, there are around 500 species of Gorgoniidae in Europe, of which 200 are found in the Mediterranean Sea, from 10 m to a maximum depth of 100 m.

This species belongs to the Gorgoniidae family and requires staying under cold water to survive and reproduce. For this reason, in recent years, fishing activities have been threatened, mainly due to global warming and, on the other hand, the conservation of the Gorgoniidae, where they are caught by accident, the inclusion of invasive exotic species in the Sea Mediterranean and the runoff of polluting agents in the waters.

Why is the preservation of this species so important?

Gorgonians are an endangered species, due to the multiple factors mentioned in previous sections. In addition, they are organisms of slow growth and late reproduction. Studies show that gorgonians grow between 1 mm and 6 mm each year, that is, to reach dimensions of two meters it would take thousands of years.

On the other hand, the structure of the Gorgoniidae allows its interior and surroundings to become a unique and safe habitat for hundreds of marine species, thus being able to feed, shelter, and even reproduce.

The Gorgoniidae are essential in the Mediterranean Sea for the preservation of underwater forests and also their fauna. Consequently, the extinction of this species would put the rest of the marine fauna at risk.

How to promote the care of the Mediterranean Sea?

To provide protection and ensure this species, it is necessary to develop strategies for marine reforestation and the conservation of Gorgoniidae. Currently, there is a project known as Gorgonia Barcelona, ​​where scientists, divers, sociologists, students, organizations, associations, and those who wish to participate can join this beautiful work that will not only save marine life but will also allow us to enjoy for life biodiversity in the seas.

First of all, it is essential to reduce any destructive activity practiced in Barcelona’s seas, for example, aggressive fishing activity or the dumping of polluting substances into the sea. In the same way, it is necessary to reforest the seas, thus allowing the care, protection, and reproduction of marine forests.

Gorgonia Project is an excellent method not only to preserve marine ecosystems and promote care for the sea but also the best way to create awareness and knowledge for the entire population about the importance of preserving marine life. The most valuable aspect of this initiative is citizen participation as the only way to improve oceanic culture, and marine reforestation will contribute to the progressive increase in marine biodiversity.

Unfortunately, we see the wealth and importance of things, at the right moment when we are losing them, such is the case of the Gorgoniidae, the only way to know its value and wealth capable of providing at the bottom of the sea is by getting involved with this project. For this reason, we call on the entire population to join in the recovery and reproduction of the species. Only together can we build and save our future!

What is this project about?

It seeks to promote the reproduction of this species, through various marine restoration techniques. The main method consists of collecting all the gorgonians that get caught in the nets by mistake during the fishing activity or selecting some of these species on the seabed.

Subsequently, they are introduced into aquariums in search of their effective and prompt recovery or failing that, supervised reproduction. Finally, all those recovered and reproduced populations of Gorgonians are transplanted into boulders and then submerged in their natural habitat up to a maximum depth of 90 m in the ocean.

This technique not only guarantees the subjection of the species to the boulder, but also provides an optimal and safe landing of the Gorgonians on the seabed, and in turn, prolonged life within the ocean.

Like plants, Gorgonians can grow without difficulty just by positioning them within their habitat, close to their species. In this way, promoting the care of the Gorgonians is not a complicated activity, but it does require your support and awareness.

You can join this new project either as a volunteer or financial contributor to continue contributing to the rescue of the Gorgonians, which can last more than 700 years to reach two meters. Let’s save the future of marine life together!

Join our project “GORGONIAS”

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