Stench of rotten fish threatens arrival of cruise ships in Gran Canaria

by Lorraine Williamson
rotten fish smell puts off tourists

LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA – Since July 20th, the smell of rotten fish has been engulfing large parts of the port area of the city of Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria. Furthermore, the persistent stench is putting pressure on the arrival of cruise ships.

The odour of rotten fish is a result of a fire in a cold storage facility where 700 tons of fish and other seafood were stored. This has already led to some ships being diverted to facilities not intended for that purpose. The diversion was implemented to prevent the stench from deterring tourists. Moreover, the cruise ship would have to stay in the stench for a while, which would also not be conducive to its image. 

Arrival of two cruise ships expected 

The capital of Gran Canaria is expecting the arrival of the cruise ships Ventura (P&O Cruises) this Saturday and Virtuosa (MSC Cruises) on Friday, August 18th. However, the cleaning of the rotting material is proceeding extremely slowly due to its complexity: the poor condition of the building and the nearly liquid state of the thawed and rotten fish. 

Cogesa Expats

Cleaning operations proceed slowly 

Port sources have admitted to the newspaper La Provincia that it is unlikely that the organic waste will be removed in time to eliminate the stench before both cruise ships arrive. The concern at the Port Authority of Las Palmas is, therefore, significant. The situation not only has implications for the upcoming cruises but could also have a long-term impact on the reputation of the port as a key tourist destination. 

Related: Historic symbol of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria destroyed by fire 

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