Home Sciences Hundreds of dead fish appear in the Mar Menor

Hundreds of dead fish appear in the Mar Menor


The worst predictions have come true. Since the end of March, experts have been warning that the Minor Sea It was heading towards a new ‘green soup’ due to the repeated and incessant rains of recent months, which caused the entry of a large amount of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphates into the lagoon. The high abundance of these substances in the water, added to the contributions of polluting materials due to climatic events, led to fears another episode of anoxia and fish mortality in the lagoon that seems to have started this Wednesday.

In the early hours of this morning, dozens of dead fish appeared in the Atalayón area of Santiago de la Ribera (San Javier), which have already been removed by Environmental Agents. At the beginning of May, the situation of the parameters analyzed in the Mar Menor indicated the lack of oxygen in several areas, for which the lagoon’s monitoring committee had prepared an essay to oxygenate the water through microbubbles on a volume of water of 150,000 cubic meters and six hectares of surface.

Sources consulted indicate that the monitoring carried out by the Murcian Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Research and Development (Imida) through the Mar Menor Observatory has reflected low oxygen values ​​in recent days in the northern basin of the Mar Menor. These values ​​have reached between 2 and 4 milligrams per liter of oxygen in the water, very low data for the time we are in, say these sources, who already speak of episodes of hypoxia (lack of oxygen in the water) in this area of ​​the lagoon. The small and medium-sized specimens removed are mostly gobies, a species that lives on rocky bottoms near shallow areas of the lagoon. Small crabs and prawns have also been collected.

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Technicians from this autonomous research organization have monitored 48 points in the north, where these low oxygen levels have been detected. Councilor Antonio Luengo himself explained this morning at the Regional Assembly, during an appearance to detail the status of the lagoon and the actions of the Community in this ecosystem, that in recent days the north basin already reflected low oxygen values, which which has been called “episode of hypoxia”.

To the place they have also appeared agents of the Civil Guard to record the situation. The Benemérita has consulted the environmental agents about the amount of fish collected and about the state of the Castillico beach. Organization technicians ANSE They have also gone to the place to check the removal work of these specimens. Biologist Jorge Sánchez pointed out to this newsroom that a situation like this was expected due to the poor state of the lagoon in recent days.

The Ministry of Environment points out for his part that for the moment approximately 250 specimens of dead fishabout three kilos of weight in total, and clarifies that this episode is “on time”. The Community has already warned that such a situation could occur due to the entry of tons of nutrients through the Rambla del Albujón. After the appearance of these specimens, the Ministry points out that “the action protocol prepared for cases of this type has been immediately launched and environmental brigades have been sent to check the status of the area and remove these specimens.” IMIDA has begun to analyze other points of the lagoon to determine if there are other areas with low oxygen levels.

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The professor of Ecology at the UMU, Angel Perez Ruzafaremarks that the registered values ​​are very low with respect to this time of year and that the situation of eutrophication of the lagoon goes with “two months in advance due to the entry of nutrients due to heavy rains”. The temperatures of the last few days “have been able to bring about this situation”, reflects the researcher, but stresses that the situation could get worse as we get further into the summer.

The Spanish Institute of Oceanography warned last April that a new episode of anoxia it was possible in the lagoon after the torrential rains recorded weeks ago. These precipitations caused contributions of materials dragged by surface runoff to the ecosystem, which has caused “the massive development of microbiological and phytoplankton communities.”

With the growth over the last few weeks of filamentous algae in much of the lagoon, which can cause an oxygen deficit, the Mar Menor is “at potential risk” of suffering a new episode of anoxia and mass mortality of organisms “very high”.

Negative effects on tourism

The tourist establishments of the coastal municipalities are registering cancellations of reservations for the summer before the deterioration of the beaches that has taken place in the coast.

They’re afraid that the Mar Menor crisis drives away visitors and leave tourist accommodation and catering establishments without customers, whose clientele would be greatly reduced if the beaches do not receive the usual bathers of other summers.

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