Marine wildlife

Marine biodiversity in the Calanques

Striped dolphin and Risso's dolphin © F. Larrey - Regard du Vivant
The Calanques National Park includes no less than 60 heritage marine species…


In the sea grass meadows...

In the sea grass meadows, you can see many species of fish, such as porgies, sargos, wrasses and sea horses, not to mention the many invertebrates, such as the hatpin urchin who has spikes that can be up to 10cm long, or the noble pen shell, which holds the record for the largest shell in the Mediterranean (1 metre long maximum).


...and in the coralligenous area

Deeper, the Coralligenous structure is an ecosystem characterised by an abundance of marine organisms. Colonies of red coral are found in dark rocky areas, while yellow gorgonians generally prefer the sides of walls in depths of 10 and 30 metres.


Fish, turtles and cetaceans...

Protected by a moratorium, the dusky grouper has begun to reclaim the seabed in recent years. Also protected by a moratorium, the Brown meagre is very rare in the Calanques because of its vulnnerability. It usually lives in the shelter of a rock or a crevice where it can easily hide. 

Further offshore, cetaceans can be seen, such as the bottlenose dolphin and the striped dolphin, or the fin whale which, after the blue whale and with a length of about 20 metres, is the second largest animal alive on the planet. You can also see the Loggerhead sea turtle off the Calanques, where it comes to feed.