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Dominica Marine Life

Scuba divers in Dominica benefit from a unique blend of nutrient-rich soils on the island surface, and reefs that drop quickly to abyssal depths; the result is one of the best fed reefs in the Caribbean and unusually clear waters for such a lush system.  Frequent rainfall washes nutrients over the reefs, but unlike islands with shallow margins, the nutrients feed thriving invertebrate populations and are rapidly swept out to sea without causing murk or algae blooms.

Solid pinnacles and walls of basalt, granite and other igneous rock are monuments to Dominica’s volcanic birth. Upon these massive fortifications, sponges of every size and shape dominate the landscape while colorful and diverse corals fill in every available void.  Atop the sessile invertebrates, suspension feeding basket stars, crinoids sift the currents for particulates, and arrow crabs and armies of banded coral shrimps scavenge the reef for detritus.

Colorful reef fish abound along the reefs of Dominica.  Unlike the softer base material of many Caribbean reefs, the volcanic masses that support Dominica’s reef system do not lend themselves to burrowing and digging animals, so many organisms including fishes are much more exposed than in other locales. 

Scuba divers will be able to see unusual behaviors and interactions that are not prevalent on other Caribbean reefs.  Fishes that are often secretive elsewhere, have adapted to a les secure life. Marine organisms are often more approachable, relying more on camouflage rather than cover for survival.  Scuba divers should also pay close attention to the intensely packed microcosms that exist in the sponges. Within the towering spires of barrel sponges, dozens of species may be found in residence, each competing for a small niche in a suitably porous and protective host.  

 

 

 
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