TGIF: Anchor Scar- the movie

Thank God it’s Friday. Work moves to the back burner, social issues move to the front burner. This week we provide two underwater movies to help your work hours pass quickly. Both videos (below the fold) show the devastating impacts of anchor damage on the Caribbean Sea’s Saba Bank, in the Dutch Antilles. The videos are short, each about 2.5 minutes long, but the memory should last years. The battle to limit these anchor scars has only just begun.

Special thanks to Shelley Lundvall of the Saba Conservation Foundation for shooting these and posting these at YouTube.


The first video shows damage inflicted by a relatively small anchor chain. Two large Xestospongia sp. barrel sponges lie broken and overturned. We call this habitat degradation. This king of damage is widespread, and difficult to monitor.

The second video accompanies the Friday Deep-Sea Picture below, showing more serious impacts of the really large oil tanker anchors. We call this terrain modification. It happens near ports all over the world. It’s along the lines of what a bulldozer might do if it drove through your neighborhood. Use the scuba divers for scale. The depth is 33m.

Peter Etnoyer (397 Posts)

PhD candidate at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi and doctoral fellow Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies.


7 Replies to “TGIF: Anchor Scar- the movie”

  1. I wonder how old those barrel sponges were? They were a good size.

    Oh yeah, and you ruined not just my day, but my weekend jackass.

    But thanks for bringing this serious issue to light.

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