Ecologistas en Acción has asked the Junta de Andalucía to take steps to have the Salobreña fish pens dismantled and moved to another area.
The present location is considered a Special Conservation Area, therefore the presence of the fishpens is entirely unsuitable to such a category, especially because of the debris and pollution produced every time strong waves batter the cages.
The Beach of the Guard and Beach Tesorillo are protected areas because of their wealth of flora and fauna on the cliffs and the seabed.
However, recently, these beaches were littered with cables, nets and metal framework and large-diametre plastic tubing, all of which came from the abandoned fish pens.
Not all the installations are abandoned because there is a breeding tank next to the old sugar factory for fattening fry, belonging to a different company to the one that owns the abandoned fish pens.
The history of fish farming in the area goes back a decade or more. In 2015, the fish farm was purchased by Aquaculture Granada SL and put into use again, adding two more fish pens. The previous owners had installed 36 pens, which over the years had all been destroyed by wave and wind action.
Some sank without a trace, others were washed up onto nearby beaches (see photo). No effort, it appears, was made by the fish-farming company to dismantle and remove those pens.
Presently the company that owns the two ‘new’ pens has suspended all activity and there is a strong chance that the same fait will befall them.
The Tesorillo-Salobreña area was declared a Place of Community Importance (SCI) in 2002 and then in 2015 it was further protect by an upgrade to a Special Conservation Area (ZEC).
The ecologist have asked the Environment Board belonging to the Junta de Andalucía to chose another area outside the ZEC for fish farming; somewhere more suitable.
On the occasions that parts of destroyed and drifting fish pens have ended up on beaches, it has been the Town Hall that has removed them because attempts to contact the company had failed.
Only once did they get some response; the company said that they were going to repair the fish pens and use them instead for raising the mussels that had remained in the nets after a gale in 2018 destroyed infrastructure causing millions in losses for the company.
(News: Salobrena, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)