Scuba DivingJerseys rocky coastline is host to a huge variety of marine life in a profusion of size, shape and colour which can be discovered right from the edge of the shoreline, as well as further out offshore. The seawater around the island is of a very high quality due to Jerseys award-winning Ultra Violet Cleaning Unit, which is reflected in the health and abundance of the underwater life.
The shallow rocky bays are home to many types of wrasse as well as pollack, mullet and bass, with pipefish hiding among the kelp. Tube worms, sea squirts and nudibranchs can be found among the rocks, as can the comic faces of tom pot blennies.
Lobsters, crabs and crayfish abound and from early summer onwards, cuttlefish are a common sight, as are the weird and wonderful John Dory. In deeper water the rock faces are covered in dense sheets of jewel anemones in luminous pink, blue, orange and emerald green. Fan corals and dead mens fingers are also common. Huge silvery shoals of pouting cloak the shipwrecks, while conger eels hide in the wreckage, and the exotic blue and orange cuckoo wrasse are also often seen by divers. Colourful sea urchins and starfish cling to the underwater cliffs, and flatfish, rays and dogfish lie camouflaged on the shingly seabed.
Because of Jerseys southerly position, many species which are rare or unknown around the coast of mainland Britain are found in the sea around the island. The observant diver searching under rocks and boulders will find ormers, a species of abalone-like shellfish which is unique to the Channel Islands. The rare black-face blenny, with its distinctive orange-yellow body, is common in the rocky shallows. Those with an eye for the tiniest of marine life will find beautiful pink and purple striped prawns, not found elsewhere in the British Isles, hiding in the tentacles of snakelock anemones.
In the summer there are also occasional sightings of more exotic creatures such as basking sharks, triggerfish, seahorses, sunfishes and dolphins. Although local game laws prohibit the taking of ormers, lobsters and crayfish in order to protect the stocks, divers are allowed to bring up fish and crabs and permits can be obtained for scallop gathering. The use of spearguns with full scuba equipment, although not illegal, is frowned upon by locals who prefer to use only snorkelling gear if they are hunting. For those who prefer to shoot fish on film, the vast array of colourful marine life and good visibility makes Jersey the ideal destination for the underwater photographer.