Murcia government launches urgent plan to save the Mar Menor
THE Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) has published a report containing a battery of urgent actions required to protect and aid the recovery of Spain’s Mar Menor. Situated in Murcia in the south-eastern part of the country, the Mar Menor is Europe’s largest saltwater lagoon and home to the famous mud baths which attract throngs of tourists every year for their reported healing qualities.
Back in November 2019, residents woke to the horrific sight of hundreds of dead fish washed up along the shores, something which the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) attributed to the heavy rains in the area. In fact, the IEO predicted that some 80 per cent of the flora and fauna of the Mar Menor had perished due to a lack of oxygen.
According to IEO sources consulted by Spanish news outlet Europa Press, an influx of nutrients washing into the waters added to the problem, causing a serious degradation of the entire ecosystem over a period of decades. The experts found “an enrichment in inorganic nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) beyond the critical level of the self-regulatory capacity of a given system.”
Now, the new publication by MITECO aims to develop a green programme for the recovery of the area that will organise and prioritise actions to reduce the contribution of pollutants. The main actions will be to monitor local activity for any unauthorised practices that may impact marine life, such as illegal dumping, and to issue heavy sanctions for any transgressions.
To ensure compliance, the number of personnel dedicated to the Mar Menor has increased, with any infringements reported directly to the Autonomous Community of Murcia. Because of this, there has been a large increase in disciplinary proceedings, with 138 sanctions reported in the past few months.
Source: Diario Informacion