Known reefs in the area include the Esquirques, two large rocky reefs of volcanic origin surrounded by a sandbank, and Keith's Reef.
Since 1988, various archaeological surveys have located a concentration of ancient shipwrecks in the area.
The area is adjacent to the Skerki Narrows between Sicily and Cape Bon and was known as "Bomb Alley" to Allied sailors during World War II due to its proximity to Axis air bases and the difficulty of protecting convoys from air attack. On 2 December 1942 it was the scenario of the Battle of Skerki Bank, where a squadron of Allied cruisers destroyed an Italian convoy.
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