Status: 08/28/2021 at 8:56 pm.
Europe’s largest saltwater lagoon is about to collapse: Tons of dead fish wash up on the beaches of Mar Menor – because of intensive agriculture. Now 70,000 people have opposed the environmental policy.
70,000 people symbolically embraced Europe’s largest saltwater lagoon, in protest against one of Spain’s worst environmental tragedies in recent years. Spanish media reported that they formed a human chain around the entire Mar Menor, a distance of 73 km.
The participants wore black T-shirts to express grief over the destruction of the environment. He called upon the politicians to do something about the situation. A minute’s silence was also observed for the thousands of animals affected by water pollution. A coalition of nature conservation groups and local residents called for action.
Concern for Europe’s largest saltwater lagoon “Mar Menor”
Natalia Bachmeyer, ARD Madrid, Daily News at 5:00 pm, 8/28/2021
Five Ton Dead Lagoon Residents
Last week, nearly five tons of dead fish and crustaceans washed up on the beaches of Mar Menor, “Little Sea” in the Murcia region of southeastern Spain. This was never the first bad incident to happen in a nature and holiday paradise. About two years ago, for example, about three tons of dead lagoon residents – mainly small fish and crabs – were washed away.
The reason for the mass extinction of fishes is the so-called eutrophication. It is caused by human activity. Due to industrial agriculture in the region, low-content soils are frequently added to the lagoon, environmentalists complain. Nitrates and phosphates ensure that algae spread extensively and deprive other plant species, fish and small organisms of oxygen.
Higher temperatures accelerate eutrophication. A few days ago they exceeded 40 degrees in the Murcia region. This heats the water in Mar Manor and further reduces the amount of oxygen.
The government took a decision on the conditions
Mar Menor was once considered one of the most beautiful areas in Spain. Today mostly only “green soup” is seen, which gives off a rotten stench. The conservative regional government and the left central government blame each other.
Environmentalists mainly criticize those responsible in Murcia. The regional government is doing nothing against intensive agriculture in the immediate vicinity of the lagoon, which is the main culprit for the problems. In the wake of the disaster and protests, the regional government this week decided to set some environmental requirements for the region, but environmentalists dismissed it as inadequate.
With information from Oliver Neuroth, ARD Studio Madrid
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