Man made habitat

November 29th, 2019

Few habitats are quite as spectacular for the diver as that of an old mooring line. The line provides prime real-estate for a range of filter feeders, which are suspended in the water column, catching the best possible food carrying currents.

Tunicates and worms by Barry Kaye
View of the lines at Camas Torsa, showing the range of filter feeders taking advantage of the suspended habitat. Photo by Barry Kaye 2018.

Over time the line can become so encrusted with marine life that the weight of it drags the buoy underwater, leaving no trace on the surface, so the appearance of the life encrusted lines on a dive is quite magical! Evantually, however, the submerged buoy collapses, leaving a tangle of line on the seabed. Sadly the habitat degrades from a good place to ‘hang out’, to that of discarded plastic rubbish…

A couple of years ago, on a dive in Loch Sunart, we found quite an extensive network of lines, layed from 16m to the 3m depth, and making for a very interesting dive. Lewis has written up the dives, with a description of some of the organisms found:

The rope site at Camas Torsa, Loch Sunart

Posted in dive trips, Science