PADI Referral dives in Warm Water

Canaries - Marine Life in the warm waters of Macronesia


Octopus in Gran Canaria diving

Amazing variety of life

With more than 400 different marine species, there are representatives of most of the major marine life families. There are many species of fish, cephalapods, molluscs, Elasmobranchii, crustaceans, molluscs, sponges, as well as plants, algae and marine bacteria.

Even if you are just starting out as a diver, there are plenty of amazing creatures to see. Octopi and cuttlefish can change their skin colour in an instant, there are trumpetfish which look as though they were designed by a committee, and you may see one of the twelve species only found in the Canaries, Azores and Cape Verde, such as the Abades or the Canarian lobsterette.

Colourful Canaries Marine Life

Colours of the Canaries

There are amazing numbers of small colourful fish at most sites in the Canaries. Vibrant turkish wrasse dart from one rock to another. Dark-blue damselfish are territorial when they lay their eggs and will challenge divers and other fish, orange Atlantic damselfish can change their colour in the mating season, and there are several creatures such as glass-eye who hide their colours during the day, and your instructor will also point out fish such as lizardfish, flounders and scorpionfish who can camouflage themselves and hide.

Endangered Species in Gran Canaria

Endangered Species

Sadly, marine environments are under threat. For years, over-fishing, careless disposal of by-catches, pollution and relentless pressure on Marine Environments and breeding habitats has led to a decline in many Marine Species. We have compared the main species found in the Canaries to the IUCN 'Red List of threatened Species', and the result is six endangered species which, if you are lucky, you can see while diving in the Canary Islands, especially in the Marine Reserve in Arinaga on Gran Canaria.