Baronie Seamount 

The Baronie Seamount or “K” extends N-S along the eastern Sardinian margin for about 100 km and has a peculiar K-shaped morphology, which earned its name. It has two summit areas (North and South peaks), at about 160-170 m depth, characterized by a flat morphology, a thin sedimentary cover and a steep western flank one (Würtz & Rovere, 2015).

The Baronie Seamount represents an important ad exploited trawling ground for Mediterranean red shrimps, but rich fish and benthic catches are reported from this area (Sabatini et al., 2011).

The mount was previously investigated by ROV in 2013 along the eastern flank of the southern peak revealing a relatively poorly structured benthic habitat dominated by cidarid sea urchins, holothurians, and decapods. The observed fish assemblage included various specimens of the shark Hexanchus griseus.

The BioMount surveys were carried out on both peaks from 207 m to 500 m. The most extended hardgrounds were found on the western side of the northern peak dominated by encrusting sponges and Dendrophyllia cornigera. Fe-Mn-encrusted tanatocoenoses of this species and possibly other CWCs were occasionally spotted. The benthic habitat is relatively poorly structured: a dead forest of Leiopathes glaberrima was found in the area with few living colonies. Traces of lost fishing gears were found in the area.