“I mourn what the lagoon is”: In Spain, Mar Menor, a unique suffocating ecosystem-zimo news


A postcard-like landscape, the sun sets down from the small sea, and the last rays of light illuminate the Barron and Pediguera volcanoes and wilderness islands, several sailing boats shaken by the waves, and the Cartagena Mountains further south.Even in mid-October, children still wear bathing suits to play near the calm and temperate waters of this 135-kilometer-long huge salt lake at nightfall2, Inhabited by pink flamingos, sea horses and huge nacre, is a 22-kilometer-long sandy beach from the Mediterranean Sea, Manga del Mar Menor. If this unique ecosystem in the Murcia region of southeastern Spain has not been urbanized on a large scale since the 1960s, and has not been polluted by large amounts of nitrate leaking from agriculture and animal husbandry for decades, it may be idyllic.

“I don’t bathe anymore, which makes me sick of all these algae and smells: if it continues, it looks like a pond”, Sagrario Lopez, 54, sits on folding chairs on the gray sands of San Pedro del Pinatar with her daughter and two grandchildren, right This is regrettable. “Twenty years ago, this was another matter. The water was transparent and we saw tons of fish. Now my friend doesn’t want to come again”, Added this from Madrid On October 12th, the Spanish National Day bridge passed here.

Tons of fish, summer tourists saw a lot this summer, between August 15th and 25th: dead. Due to the eutrophication of the lagoon, nearly five tons of fish were trapped in the hypoxic zone caused by the eutrophication of the lagoon. They died on the shore, desperately sticking their mouths out of the water in search of oxygen. Although the regional government pointed out the impact of the possible increase in temperature, The Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) clearly stated in its report submitted on September 13 : The main reason for this death is “Fertilizer keeps leaking into the lagoon (…). Excessive phytoplankton restricts the entry of light, which will affect photosynthesis and the availability of oxygen in the water, reaching a level close to hypoxia. “.

After the plot “Green Soup” In 2016-when the entire lagoon turned green under the influence of microalgae proliferation, nearly 80% of the underwater vegetation disappeared-then after the heavy rain in October 2019, more than 3 tons of fish suddenly died. His conclusion was clear : “The lagoon ecosystem has lost its regulatory capacity.”

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