The seabed of Capo Mortola

The Sea

Thanks to its favourable geographic position, Liguria, and especially the extreme west, preserves in its small territory highly differentiated natural environments, so as to include all three biogeographical areas in Italy: alpine, continental and Mediterranean. One of the 125 Ligurian SCIs (Sites of Community Importance, 26 of which are marine), is the area around Capo Mortola of Ventimiglia. Here biodiversity is particularly high thanks to the presence of rocky areas interspersed with sandy seabed. Capo Mortola’s abyss are characterized by three prairie sub-sites of Posidonia oceanica, a seaweed species protected by European regulations for its very high ability to generate oxygen in the water and favour the species biodiversity.

On the seabed of Capo Mortola, there are also the Pinna nobilis bivalve and several species of invertebrates, in addition to seahorses and different qualities of thrushes and needlefishes.

Particularly important, for its richness and variety, is the fossil deposit in the beach area, several types of shellfishes, as well as sea urchins and Polychaetes calcareous worms. There are also numerous fossil traces providing information on the activity of the organism that generated them.

The managing body of the site is the University of Genoa, through its own “University Service Centre for Hanbury Botanical Gardens”.

[Andrea Moggio – Photos by Mauro Malugani]