The Scientific Committee of the Mar Menor will monitor daily the state of the salty lagoon, from which more than four tons of algae have already been removed in less than two months
The hundred workers from the Ministry of Agriculture and about fifty fishermen have removed from the shores of the Mar Menor since April 1, just over four tons of algae of the ‘angel hair’ type. “It is the salty lagoon’s way of telling us that it is ill,” said the spokesman for the Scientific Committee of the Mar Menor, Emilio María Dolores. Technicians from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment, together with a team of scientists, have increased monitoring and starting this week they will do a daily follow-up that will provide data on its status.
The updated parameters indicate that at this time of year, the salinity is very low (39.73 PSU) at the same level as that of the Mediterranean, something that, according to experts, may affect some species such as the nacra. This circumstance, in addition, has made species such as octopus or cuttlefish appear in the Mar Menor, something unusual. “Recently, a fisherman took a turtle out of his nets, an unprecedented event in those latitudes,” the spokesman reported. Likewise, in the central zone of the salty lagoon, Isla del Barón and Perdiguera, an increase in chlorophyll levels has been detected at the bottom, and it will increase as the heat increases in summer.
The Environment technician indicated that according to the data collected, the oxygen level, which is 6.4 milligrams per liter, “is normal, compatible with marine life”, although there have been two specific episodes of hypoxia in Santiago de la Ribera (San Javier) and in Villas Caravaning (Cartagena). With regard to the volume of daily water that enters the Rambla del Albujón, the expert warned that it stands at 464 liters per second, as well as 5,498 kilos of nutrients and 25.77 kilos of phosphates each day. So far this year, this boulevard has poured 6 hectometers of fresh water, while in all of 2021 4.5 hectometers entered, Dolores pointed out. Similarly, so far in 2022, 876 tons of nutrients have entered, while in all of 2021 the figure was 740 tons, according to data from the Ministry.
Finally, regarding the entry of phosphorus, while in 2021 two tons entered through the Albujón, in the first five months of 2020 they have already exceeded 3.8 tons.
Regarding the situation reported this Tuesday around Las Lomas (between Mar de Cristal and Villas Caravaning), the work of removing biomass in the area has been reinforced. The measurements made throughout the morning reflect an area of less than 3 hectares where the oxygen values in the first hour were at a hypoxic level, recovering for the most part over the hours.
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