The banc des Kabyles presents itself as an underwater mountain of volcanic nature, which begins from 7 meters and goes up to 500 meters deep, with different levels, the first located at a depth of 20 m on a preferential north-south axis, the second towards the 40 m on a south-west/north-east orientation. The banc des Kabyles delimits the end of the continental shelf which goes down abruptly, reaching 500 meters of depth.
Apart from critically endangered, vulnerable or endangered Mediterranean species of Mediterranean interest, the banc des Kabyles has rare habitats and hard substrates characteristic of the Mediterranean region, including underwater caves, holes and arches. This complexity of the substrata, in addition to the biotic component, constitute a nursery for almost all species related to hard substrates.
Access to fishing on the site was permitted until the late 1980s, limited to a few well-equipped insiders who knew the area perfectly. Since the appearance of the cheap versions of satellite positioning systems, in particular the GPS, incursions on the site multiplied, the poaching using scuba diving, has almost become a national sport. Currently, the banc des Kabyles is threatened by illegal fishing, including commercial recreational fishing, underwater hunting, habitat destruction, pollution caused by the accumulation of solid waste as a result of coastal traffic in summer, heavy use of fishing gear and overexploitation.
Several ecologically important underwater habitats are present in the banc des Kabyles, including Posidonia meadows over one metre height. There are also abundant groupers Epinephelus marginatus and Epinephelus costae and other rare species, such as Polyprion americanus, that are classified as “critically endangered” by the IUCN Red List. The site is a refuge for various shark species, such as the “vulnerable” shark Alopias vulpinus and the blue shark Prionace glauca, classified as “near-endangered”.
Ministère de l'Environnement et de l'Aménagement du Territoire MATE and the Commissariat National du Littoral CNL. The staff dedicated to this is the one of the Taza National Park.
The banc des Kabyles Marine Reserve is a shoal located approximately 3.4 miles from the nearest coast, and 6.5 miles northwest of Jijel, which is part of Taza National Park. The banc des Kabyles is part of the Taza National Park, including a land and a marine area.