Secca di Zi Costante (Shoal of Zi Costante)

Type of Dive

Costante was the last owner of the ancient restaurant in Giannutri “La Taverna del Granduca”, he himself often went fishing on a shoal of which he spoke to us at length.

So one day, curious to see this elusive sandbank, 4 of us dived into the water to discover what we later baptized as the “Secca di Zi Costante”, because, ironically, we dived in the very day in which the sad news reached us of his death.

Once on the shoal we head towards the deepest part and meet a dream wall, full of life as only the deep Mediterranean of thirty years ago can give and 5 motionless sunfish, stopped at the cleaning station, with tanute and other small fish intent on cleaning leftovers from their meal.

The hat is located on the edge of Zone 1 of the Giannutri Island Marine Park, about 55 meters deep and has a crescent shape, with walls that descend steeply beyond 90 meters.

The 55 meters area is a rocky hill about ten meters high. The seabed is irregular, alternating pinnacles with rocky ridges completely covered with yellow and red gorgonians, sponges of all shapes and alcyonaria as only here can be seen in this stretch of sea.

The shoal is a real treasure chest full of jewels of sessile Mediterranean marine life, some quite rare. Paralcyonum spinulosum is a coelenterate very similar to a tropical alcyonary, smaller in size and of a pinkish semi-transparent colour. It does not form extensive walls but is distributed in small groups of various specimens.

Even the characteristic tunicate Diazona violacea is present beyond 50 meters. It is very reminiscent of the common clavelina, but the individuals are juxtaposed together giving life to rather compact and globular forms.

The coelenterate Parerythropodium coralloides is present with an unusual lilac colouration. Alcyonum palmatum is also frequent. Almost all of them are distributed in this shoal at the ideal depth

the sea fans of the Mediterranean. In fact, over 65 meters the unmistakable shapes appear (reminding of snow-covered trees) of the Antipatella subpinnata, which colonizes everything between 70 and 80 meters.

If this area is still intact and full of life it is thanks to the Marine Park of the Tuscan Archipelago which has been protecting this important heritage since 1996, the year of its establishment.