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Damaged submarine ecosystems restored on La Gomera PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 10 May 2009 16:00

The Island Council will recover the submarine ecosystem to promote the recovery of fish stocks in the southern coastal areas, as reported by the chairman of the insular institution, Casimiro Curbelo, before specifying that the action will focus on the tip of Iguala, the surroundings of the beach at La Dama, and the area of Roque del Herrero, near the lighthouse of San Cristóbal.

Curbelo explains that the initiative is linked to a collaboration agreement already approved by the Island Council of La Gomera that will soon be signed with the Government of the Canary Islands, whose main action is controlling the scourge of sea urchin, which the technicians define as a real threat to the coast.

He points out that the problem is not unique to La Gomera, as currently over 60 per cent of marine ecosystems of rocky shores of the Canaries are affected by the devastating action of this animal, which is responsible for the formation of the so-called blanquizales, which are marine zones that have lost their plant and animal coverage.

Curbelo insists that “it is a common interest of the Autonomous Region and the Island Council of La Gomera to carry out a population control of the sea urchin, realized by expert marine biologists, which will constitute a first step to achieve in the future to recover the balance of the natural ecosystem". The highest insular representative details that the measure will be undertaken over a period of time that has been set at two years, and it has been provided a budget that exceeds 80.000 euros, distributed between 2008 and 2009.

"The work will be carried out by divers and other professional teams who will have as their specific objectives not only the control of localized populations of sea urchins, but also to increase the biodiversity and productivity of the underwater ecosystems, to establish protection zones to act as nuclei of high diversity and zones for breeding of fishing species, to raise awareness of the involved sectors, and to promote attitudes and behaviors of responsible fishing”, he informs.

He adds that a detailed work program of four phases has been designed, involving the continued and uniform cleaning of areas for action to achieve the decrease in population abundance of sea urchins, the increase in the density and variety of algae, the increase in the variety of fish, and determining of the most optimal methodology for the total elimination of sea urchins.

"Ultimately this is an important action in addition to others already undertaken by the Island Council of La Gomera in order to enhance the primary sector, namely the traditional areas of our economy, which include agriculture and fishing, particularly affected by the change of the economic model in recent years", Curbelo concludes.