Andros, the greatest island of the Bahamas, is residence to the third biggest barrier reef on earth. At only over 230 kilometers (140 miles) long, the isle reef supplies numerous chances to find undersea life in its most fantastic. The shoreline side of the reef is peaceful, serene, and semi-deep (about 2.5 meters/8-feet). Excellent for first diver. The ocean-side of the reef should really be tried by means of a specialist just and is anything-but tame though.
Andros Islands Unique Features
For anyone going to the Bahamas, Andros coral reefs are one of the main tourist attractions. The so-called Andros Island is, actually, an archipelago, made up of three main islands and hundreds of islets, connected by tidal swamps and mangrove areas. To the east of the archipelago, facing the Tongue of the Ocean, a 6,000 foot-deep trench, lies the Andros Reef. 142 miles long, running from Joulter Cays to South Cay, this is the sixth longest barrier reef in the world. Located at just 1-2 miles from the shore, at shallow depth (10-70 feet below sea level), it is not actually considered a proper reef barrier, but rather a hybrid reef. However, the whole complex extends over an impressive area. Divided in 5 areas (outerfore reef, inerfore reef, reef crest, back reef and lagoon), the reef is a protected area, hosting a huge biodiversity.
Andros Islands Marine Life Diversity
There are more than 164 animal species present in this reef. Staghorn and elkhorn corals are the most common, but other sessile species, like the smooth brain coral, sea rods, gorgonia and giant tube sponges are also to be found. The sharp nose puffer, queen trigger, flying gurnard, blue tang, black hamlet, black jack and Spanish hogfish are among the unique local fish species, accompanied by four species of turtles: green, loggerhead, hawksbill and, the big leatherback. Humpback and pilot whales often visit the area around Andros coral reefs as well.