Cañón de Avilés
Location: Cañón de Avilés is 7 miles from the coast, on an oblique line at 6º West, 140 m deep over the platform, up to 4,750 m from the slope base.
Area characteristics: It is a huge submarine canyon that is one of the most extraordinary ecosystems on the Bay of Biscay platform, where there are essential habitats for the breeders of important species of commercial interest. The Asturian seashore has a concentration of the most wide-ranging biodiversity of the Bay of Biscay cetaceans, the most abundant species being the common, striped and bottlenose dolphins, and the long finned pilot whale, whose main populations inhabit the depths of Cañón de Avilés, where it shares the habitat with the emblematic giant squid. There is intense fishing activity in the area, which in the case of drift fishing that is usually performed in the waters of the Cañón de Avilés and the neighboring bottoms of the Asturian platform, it is especially harmful. Also, there are frequent fishing interactions with sharks and cetaceans, with many accidental catches. Uses of the coast, such as the expansion of the Avilés port, pollution from residual urban and industrial waste that has been poorly purified, and degradation of the coast due to excessive industrial, urban, and tourism development, together with intense sea traffic, also impact offshore seas.