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Fondali delle Isole Pelagie

The seabeds of the Pelagie Islands, off the southern coast of Sicily, feature a rich marine vegetation similar to the central-eastern part of the basin. The southern fauna is diversified, with biogeographic elements from both eastern and western regions. On Lampedusa and Lampione, the submerged vegetation is influenced by the limestone substrate and by the exposure. On rocky substrate, the vegetation is unique with indicator species: it is simplified compared to Mediterranean zoning. On Linosa, Cystoseira populations appear to be declining due to climate change. There are important biocenoses in the infralittoral zone, such as Posidonia oceanica meadows and coralligenous formations. The deposition of loggerhead sea turtle eggs occurs in two protected sites. Lampedusa hosts approximately 100 bottlenose dolphins as well as other seasonal species like the common fin whale and common dolphin. The Pelagie Islands are used as a nursery area for the amberjack, which is important for local fishing. There is a seasonal concentration of other large pelagic species such as the little tunny.