Name of Site: Żona fil-Baħar fl-inħawi tal-Majjistral tal-Graben ta’ Malta
Site Code: MT0000118
Year of designation: 2018
Area [ha]: 10720.46
Annex 1 Protected Habitats:
- 1170 Reefs
- 8330 Submerged or partially submerged sea caves
This site is characterised by caves and reef assemblages. The most abundant habitat-forming species include the scleractinian (stony coral) Madrepora oculata, and the alcyonacean Callogorgia verticillata. Several other less abundant habitat-forming species are also encountered, including species of conservation interest, such as antipatharians (including Leiopathes glaberrima), the stony coral Lophelia pertusa and the precious red coral Corallium rubrum. high diversity of associated fauna (especially sponges, echinoderms, molluscs, crustaceans and fish) is also present. Sessile species present in the mouth of caves are the same as those associated with the adjacent reef escarpment while some mobile species that are also typical of deep-water reefs, particularly the shrimps Plesionika spp., are observed in some of the caves.