From smallest plankton and krill to the great whales, our ocean contains a unique assemblage of habitats and species.
There exist almost 90 species of cetaceans in the world and more than 20 of them we have been recorded in the waters around the Azores. Some of them live here permanently while others come around for a longer or shorter period during different times of the year. The top three encountered species are Short beaked common dolphin, Common bottlenose dolphin and Sperm whales, which can be encountered during the whole year but are more abundant during the warmer part. Baleen whales are migrating past these waters and are usually most abundant in the spring and early summer. Other species like the Atlantic spotted dolphin come and stay around only during the warm water summer autumn part or in the case of Pilot whales turn up more occasionally and then often during the summer months.
Observing these marine mammals in the Azores is a mix of the expected and the unexpected, making it both reliable and exciting.
About 460 fish species have been recorded in the Azores, including large pelagic fish, like the Atlantic blue marlin, Swordfish, Bluefin tuna, Commun dolphinfish, Ocean sunfish, Hammerhead shark, Mako shark, Blue shark, Giant manta, Devil ray and the Whale shark.
Sea turtles are the most widespread marine reptiles and can be found in the Azores waters throughout the year. The most encountered turtles during our expeditions are the Logerhead turtle, the Leatherback turtle, the Green turtle and more rarely the Olive ridley sea turtle.
The Azores are an important nesting and resting area for many species of seabirds, including the Cory’s shearwater, Great shearwater, the Macaronesian shearwater, the Manx shearwater, the Bulwer´s petrel, the Madeiren storm-petrel, the Leach´s storm-petrel, the Monteiro´s storm-petrel, different Turns and Gulls, the Red-billed tropicbird and many more.