Red coral

Red coral © R. Graille


Red coral grows in shady rocky habitats between 5 and 700 meters deep. Small animals, polyps, share its calcareous branchlike skeleton. Minuscule tentacles can be seen through which is feeds on microorganisms.

Scientific name

Corallium rubrum

Natural habitats

  • Underwater canyons
  • Rocky seabeds
  • Underwater caves

Did you know?

Used in jewellery since antiquity, the populations of red coral have dropped sharply due to overexploitation combined with slow growth.

Conservation stake



  • Exploitation by man and uprooting
  • Destruction by fishing boats
  • Changes to its environment
  • Climate change
  • Acidification of waters

Conservation management initiatives

In the French Sud Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region fishing this is subject to a permit delivered by the Region’s Prefect.

How can I help to protect it?

  • I use environment-friendly mooring techniques to limit the impact of anchoring
  • In the case of anchoring out at sea, I only anchor in areas where marine habitats are not fragile and raise the anchor vertically
  • I do not disturb marine wildlife. Look but don’t touch!
  • I avoid contact with the seabed and with sloping faces
  • I avoid repeated and long visits to caves
  • I report any unusual environmental incidents
  • I recover waste and dispose of it in suitable bins on land
  • I do not gather souvenirs from the sea
  • I share this best practice with other seafarers and raise their awareness.