THE Mar Menor should start to show signs of recovery this summer according to scientists from the Spanish Oceanography Institute.
The scientists base their theory on the results of the first sample collecting campaign carried out in November and say that it should take between eight and 12 months from the halting of dumping of agricultural waste.
As the second sample collection campaign began this week, Eugenio Fraile from the oceanography institute stressed that the data obtained so far, while positive, is provisional and a whole seasonal cycle will have to pass before definite conclusions can be reached.
The scientist was however optimistic and said that in his opinion the lagoon is probably capable of repairing itself as long as it suffers no more atrocities and all dumping or spillage, intentional or accident, is avoided.
This, Fraile said, would mean no additional artificial engineering measures such as opening new channels would be necessary. In fact, scientists point out that Encañizadas and Machamalo channels make a minimal contribution to the lagoon’s renovation and believe opening new channels could do more harm than good to the marine ecosystem.
“Nature is wise and always finds its way. I’ve seen other environmental crises like the eruption of the underwater volcano in El Hierro and my experience tells me that is we stop making the ecosystem suffer it can recover,” Fraile stated.
Funnily enough the fact that 85 per cent of the marine vegetation on the floor of the lagoon has disappeared over recent years means sediment will be moved faster and waste will be eliminated quicker than would otherwise have happened, scientists believe.