Photos: Jonathan Garcia

Coastline and

Marine Environment

“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which life depends, have become global rubbish bins”. (Jacques-Yves Cousteau)

The Canary Islands archipelago is one of the Spanish regions with the longest coastline. The geographical position of the Canary Islands and the peculiarities of the archipelago’s sea mean that the Canary Islands’ coastline has favourable environmental conditions for the development of a large number of marine species.

Despite its values, with the rise of tourism, it is the coasts that have suffered the most from the impacts of human activities in recent decades. We are witnessing an alarming loss of marine biodiversity due to the gradual destruction of natural coastal habitats. The expansion of coastal land reclaimed from the sea for the creation of urban, tourist, industrial or port infrastructures is significantly affecting marine life. In addition, a multitude of waste reaches the coasts of the islands, both through the action of marine currents and directly from users, through dumping, sewage outfalls or dumps near the coast.

In this sense, we believe that it is necessary to promote measures such as the creation of Marine Reserves and other Marine Protected Areas, as well as to complement these initiatives with research, surveillance and environmental education projects on our coastline, with the aim of exploring it and getting to know it, as well as developing attitudes of conservation and defence of this fragile environment.