David Levy – Diary from Spain, 2017 – Nov 17

Every year I try to bring you a little nearer to the marine environment here in Espana, and this year it is so much more difficult to assess what the changes have been.

As we make our way towards Aquadulce, Almeria, we travel the coast road and there off-shore in huge cages are stocks of tuna and bass.

Nowadays blue tuna in the wild is commercially extinct in the Mediterranean, and over-fishing is forcing the bass in the same direction. The stocks of salmon in Scotland have such problems with sea lice that I can only but guess that the caged stocks here are in a similar plight.

Spanish people love their fish and the markets in our local supermarket are always packed with people trying to buy the best and local choices, but outside of squid/octopus and sardines the choices appear more exotic with species likely sourced from the Pacific and Indian Oceans. No sign of krill, but I fear we are not far from these times.

Swimming in crystal clear water was once a reality, but every few days the surf is being contaminated with plastic bags and a surface of aerated scum which makes the experience one to be avoided. I suspect that this is from sewerage outflow upstream but I am not sure.

Medusa, little purple jellyfish, have been less this year but Lusy still found one for a briefest of encounters, last year’s was a more painful experience.

People here face the same problems as we do, and like us they seem incapable of breaking the pattern of greed and its behaviour-driven lifestyle — and I for one cannot chide them for it. The however is that in the years we have been coming here I have witnessed the loss of an industry — the boats are gone from night fishing, money is quickly failing, and the markets unable to provide.

The conclusion is we have destroyed what was naturally given. We have shown a total lack of husbandry and inability to provide fish food security in our waters, and instead have exported our greed elsewhere.

Greetings from Spain
David Levy


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