Corals in Danger

PEC LHR Nets and Coral OnLDespite the water off the Punta de la Mona being a protected area, the corral is taking a hammering from discarded fishing equipment.

There is everything from anglers lines (angling is permitted) to fishing nets belonging to illegal fishermen (poaching).

For this reason the ecologist group Equilibrio Marino, has launched a project to clean up and protect these coral beds, with the backing of the Junta de Andalucía.

The ecologists can also count on the help of professional divers and even the Motril Fishing Guild (Cofradía de Pescadores).

The Head of the Equilibrio Marino, Fernando Alarcón, explained that the project has three parts. The first consists of cleaning up the seabed, although it is not a normal clean up, as the technique used is very precise so as not to cause further damage to the coral, which is very delicate.

For example some have spent so long entangled in nets and lines that the coral has grown around it, in which case they will have to decide if leaving it be is less detrimental than trying to clear the netting/fishing lines away.

Furthermore, some of these small coral beds are so far down that only professional divers can reach and work under those conditions.

In the cases where the coral base is fractured a team called Marina Palacios will come into action, who are experts in ‘repairing’ the damage – that’s another part of the project.

The third part of the project entails creating a ‘coral nursery,’ which will be the first of its kind in Andalucía. This will be costly so Equilibrio Marino is always looking for more sponsors.

Rafael Camacho, who belongs to Amigos del Mar de La Herradura and who is a diver, points out that there is a coral colony of the type known as candelabro (tree coral) on the seabed around the Punta de la Mona.

(News: Herradura, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

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