Saturday, September 25

Ten days of anoxia in the Mar Menor: “You can’t bathe in the rotten smell of dead fish”

Due to the lack of oxygen, the Mar Menor continues to eject dead fish off its shores. Ten days have passed since this bleeding began which, according to the Association of Southeast Naturalists (ANSE), will continue for the next few days, since the discharge of water with nutrients from agricultural crops in Campo de Cartagena.

Stacked in buckets arranged in a row, the last specimens collected in the morning are dried. Despite being in a considerable state of decomposition, the most pungent stench does not come from them, but from the waters that saw them born. The water is muddy, the feet sink into sand that has turned to silt.

“We went to see the sea when no means of communication had yet come and there were millions of dead fish. It was abysmal, when TV came they had already removed the fat, but it was nonsense. This sea is the treasure of the Region. From one day to the next you cannot bathe in the rotten smell of dead fish, “laments a neighbor from La Manga del Mar Menor.

In the surroundings of the Marchamalo gorge – a channel that connects the Mar Menor with the Mediterranean – the Ministry of Water, Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and the Environment has deployed a device that, in the words of the chief executive, Fernando López Miras, is ready for the central government to give the green light to its dredging: “Here it is giving the feeling that the gola is the solution to the problem of the Mar Menor. The gola has always had a very small draft, the exchange capacity in the Mar Menor there is very low, “they emphasize from Ecologists in Action.

“You have to think that the Mar Menor, even when fresh water enters the Rambla del Albujón, is much more saline than the Mediterranean Sea. The entry of water from the Mediterranean would soften the water from the Mar Menor more and would probably be even worse. This is a way of confusing public opinion “, they influence from the association. The Community has released a video in which, they say, “the anoxic bag can be seen trying to go out to the Mediterranean” through the Marchamalo gorge.

“We cannot confirm that it is an outlet of the water from the Mar Menor. That is an interpretation of the regional government. Even if it were true, the Mar Menor is a totally natural lagoon in which there has always been an exchange of water in the golas”, clarify from the association. On the surface of the gorge you can see a multitude of rafts of water like the one seen in the video released by the central government: greenish, cloudy spots that refuse to mix with the rest of the bluish water as if it were oil.

“David vs. Goliath”

Bathers and residents of the area report feeling “outraged” at this situation: “There is total passivity. David against Goliath. These are environmental Taliban: they threaten the environment and the future of our children.”

“Feelings of frustration, helplessness, anger, sadness and loss of confidence are crossed every day that this can improve. The regional government has a strategy to make the problem seem punctual, but the Mar Menor continues to rot. It is a big problem It is sad to see how inaction consolidates the degradation of this unique enclave “, observes a visitor to the Marchamalo gorge. “When the cycle lap passed, they tried to get us out of the way so that we wouldn’t be seen with the banners. They left an SOS Mar Menor message written on the ground and cleaned it up first thing in the morning,” denounces a woman who attended the protests they had. place around La Vuelta Ciclista.

The residents of the area are fully aware that this is not a one-off episode. They have witnessed how with each cry for help from the Mar Menor, its beaches have been emptied, as well as its shops: “We are sinking tourism and hospitality. It saddens me, I don’t know if there would be any solution from large companies. I do not know if they could do their part so that they do not throw away so much waste, “asks a kiosk in the area, whose point of sale is completely empty despite being rush hour. The rest of the premises, sheltered under the large apartment blocks of sixties aesthetics, also remain little crowded. “We have not raised our heads for years,” denounces another hotelier. “When it wasn’t green soup, DANA, COVID and now this.”