In the framework of a research project funded by the Total Foundation (see 'Research' section), an exploration of a spectacular submerged marine cave has been conducted on 5th May, 2016. This cave, called 'La Cattedrale', is located at Marettimo Island, in Sicily (Italy), within the buffer zone of the Egadi Islands Marine Protected Area. Two scientists of the Ecomers Lab (P. Guidetti, A. Di Franco), accompanied by F. Tedone (Marettimo Diving Center), have explored this magnificient cave (see picture here below) to get data on the fish fauna living inside.
The entrance is located at about 30 m depth. The cave is formed by a tunnel approx. 50 m long, followed by a large chamber about 50 m long and 70 m wide, ending at about 100 m distance from the entrance. Inside some typical cave fishes have been recorded, like Grammonus ater and Thorogobius ephippiatus, along with the most abundant fish in Mediterranean marine caves, Apogon imberbis, which is the main subject of this research.
Picture taken inside the submerged marine cave 'La Cattedrale', Marettimo Island, Sicily (Italy). Photo: Sergio Riccardo.