Amazing Marine Life of the Alboran Sea

The well-known Strait of Gibraltar is located at the western end of the Alboran Sea, and is the channel that serves as the connection between the Atlantic and Mediterranean Oceans. The Alboran Sea is surrounded by three countries, namely Algeria, Spain and Morocco. The sea maintains an average depth of 445 meters, with its deepest points measuring 1 500 meters. Due to the Alboran Sea’s current flowing from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Ocean, this sea has unique and breathtaking marine life.

The Alboran Sea showcases an extraordinary combination of marine life from both oceans and is home to species such as swordfish, bottlenose dolphins, loggerhead sea turtles, sardines and harbor porpoises. Because of the sardine and swordfish populations, commercial fishermen were using drift nets to capture the fish, and in 2003 the danger that this method of fishing was posing to other species within the ocean was highlighted by the World Wildlife Fund. The Alboran Sea is also home to a number of islands, of which the most popular is Isla de Alboran, and even though some islands are located close to the Moroccan coast, most of the islands are in Spain’s control.

All three of the neighboring countries of the Alboran Sea came together to recognize the importance of protecting the waters of the sea and its vital ecosystems that are considered to be of scientific, geopolitical and strategic significance. With the assistance of the IUCN, Morocco, Spain and Algeria joined forces to conserve the Alboran Sea, with Spain being host to the very first International Meeting for the Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Alboran Sea. The most recent meeting was held in Oujda, in Morocco, where over a hundred experts in various fields met to draw up the guidelines for the Oujda Declaration on the Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Alboran Sea. These meetings and the joint co-operation of the various countries to protect the Alboran Sea will ensure the future of the marine life of this magnificent stretch of ocean, as well as its surrounding landscapes and diverse ecosystems. The Alboran Sea is a vital marine location and with rare species at stake, protecting the sea is top priority for all the countries concerned.