Salobreña-based fish-farming companies have come and gone and fish pens have multiplied, then almost fizzled out again until obtaining their present state.
It was the last in a long line of companies, Acuicultura Granada S.L., that built the two large pens that can be seen today in 2015 yet after initial activity and according to Ecologistas en Acción, the company has ceased to operate the pens.
There’s also no activity in the spawning tanks in the old Azucarera del Guadalfeo in La Caleta, they say.
It was in March 2018 when a gale ripped the netting and 2m euros’ worth of fish and mussels were lost to the sea. After that disaster, there is not enough money to repair the pens and get them operative again. In fact, the company is reportedly on the verge of going bust even though their licence permits the activity to continue another 20 years.
The fish-farming installations were set up in the year 2000 and grew to 36 pens but the constant attrition from storm damage and the economic crisis put paid to it by 2009. The 36 pens were never taken away but left to the mercy of the waves with sections being washed up on the Guardia beach.
In 2012, a marine biologist who had been studying the fish farm, Prof. José Juan Nogale, together with businessmen and other university professors wanted to bring the fish-farm back into operation – but this flopped too.
Then in 2015 a company sort to diversify what they were breeding to include mussels by dividing the pens: inside would be fish breeding and around the rims, mussel colonies.
They started off with two large pens (50m in diametre) capable of producing between 800 and 1,000 tonnes of fish, together with another 200 tonnes of mussels. All together, 12 people were employed on the fish-farm
Yet today, the perimeter of one of the pens has broken way and floats, still half attached, on the sea surface. What is below is worse, despite it being a protected marine area.
According to the ecologist organisation, the seabed it littered with detritus, cables, netting, concrete anchors, etc – they want it cleaned up and are demanding that the Environmental Board of the Junta moves the installation outside the ZEC (protected marina area) and get the area cleaned up.
(News: Salobrena, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)