Photography provided by Brilliant Studios
Turks & Caicos Coral Reef Facts
The islands of the Turks and Caicos are protrusions of two large underwater plateaus.
The Caicos Bank, the largest of the two, is home to Providenciales, West Caicos, North Caicos, Middle Caicos, East Caicos and South Caicos as well as many small islands and cays.
On the Turks Bank, Grand Turk and Salt Cay along with many other smaller islands are found.
The Caicos Bank covers nearly 1700 square miles and has an average water depth of less than 20 feet.
The Caicos Bank and Turks Bank are separated by the 7,000 foot deep, 20 mile wide Columbus Passage.
The reefs around the Caicos Bank form the second largest barrier reef system in the Western Hemisphere.
It is estimated that 60 species of coral – both hard and soft – live on the reefs of the Turks & Caicos Islands.
Over 250 different fish species live on the coral reefs around the Turks & Caicos
Many of the underwater walls which are the sides of the underwater plateau area shear vertical drop offs reaching depths of several thousand feet.
The underwater walls are consistently rated among the top wall diving destinations by scuba diving publications.