Mar Menor situation is ‘unsustainable’

by Lorraine Williamson
Mar Menor

SAN JAVIER – “There are no reservations in the tourism and hospitality sector” for June, July, and August, according to the tourism industry association for the sector in Cartagena and the surrounding area. Hostecar speaks of an “unsustainable situation” around Mar Menor. 

As a result of environmental pollution, the water quality of Mar Menor, Spain’s largest inland sea, is very poor. In this traditional tourist attraction, fish die, the water turns brown and the bad smell is recognisable from afar. Hostecar condemns the ‘unsustainable situation’. Furthermore, it demands solutions for the ‘institutional desolation that the tourism sector is experiencing in this environment. 

Mar Menor is “unsustainable”

“The tragic situation of neglect and deterioration of the Mar Menor” is already having negative economic consequences for the area. In concrete terms, the organisation points out that for the coming months of June, July, and August, the high season, “no reservations have been received in the tourism and catering sector” 

Due to the massive environmental catastrophe unfolding in its waters, Mar Menor has been in international news. This began last year when dead fish washed ashore on a massive scale as a result of poor water conditions. 

Hostecar president Juan José López Escolar reiterated the importance of restoring the inland sea “as the summer season is about to begin”. Businesses have been open for a shorter period due to the lack of holidaymakers in the normally popular coastal towns around the inland sea. “This situation is untenable and no one is doing anything to solve this major problem.” 

Constant passivity 

The degradation of the Mar Menor remains a point of contention for businesses in the area. Moreover, they are directly dependent on the condition of the lagoon. López Escolar has pointed out that “the Mar Menor is declining every day, taking tourism and business in its wake”. 

See also: The largest inland sea in Spain seriously polluted 

The sector mainly criticizes the passivity of the competent authorities. Furthermore, they have allowed polluting discharges for decades. As a result, the inland sea has turned into a dump of phosphorus and nitrates. This is from the “intensive and uncontrolled agriculture near the lagoon (Campo de Cartagena)”. It urges various governments to “start projects that will help restore Mar Menor and prevent its death and that of local businesses.” 

See also: Mar Menor keeps dying and scares tourists away 

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