Shellfish ban after ‘Red Sea’ alert

A ‘RED SEA’ caused by toxins released by seaweed has led to the closure of shellfish and mollusk fishing grounds from La Cala de Mijas to Torrox. This ‘red sea’ contamination, caused by a type of seaweed named Gymnodinium, is something which occurs fairly frequently but the extent varies.

In this case, fishing for clams, baby clams, scallops, anemones, sea snails and other mollusks, along 170 kilometres of the Malaga coast has been banned. The alarm was raised by fishermen from La Caleta de Velez, although the Junta de Andalucia has considered that it is normal for this time of year, and has not called a ‘red alert’.

The levels, based on analysis carried out by the Fishing Delegation, can be consulted on the internet.

The Provincial Delegate for the Council of Agriculture and Fishery, Monica Bermudez, said “I can’t understand fishermen in La Caleta, because if what they want is to go out, this would endanger the population. This is a routine procedure, simply this time it has spread over a large area”.

The head of the fishermen’s group in La Caleta de Velez, Jose Luis Guerrero, said that the 52 shellfish fishermen wanted controls to be more constant and strict, and for an alert to be declared when necessary so they can request subsidies. As the situation stands, as there has not been a complete closure, they will get no grants.

During May and June they have only been able to fish twice a week in certain areas to avoid over-exploiting the area.

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