RECORD TOURISTS IN TORREVIEJA
Alex Watkins / 2006-08-21 16:50:14
Torrevieja registered a record 600,000 visitors over the long bank holiday weekend, according to the councillor for Tourism, Tomás Arenas Bueno.
He indicated that both hotels and second homes in the city were 100% occupied, and as a result so were the many cafeterias and restaurants. Despite the avalanche of visitors he declared that "basic services have been functioning normally," referring to supplies of electricity and drinking water; although he recognised there were transport problems, especially on the roads where traffic jams have been overwhelming and parking places scarce.
The news comes as visitors and residents continue to enjoy the last few weeks of summer, but the hot days and long nights are not good news for everyone as an expert has warned of a grave threat to the fish population as a result of the heating up of the Mediterranean, which in July was 6 degrees above the average.
Marine biologist José Tena, dean of the Faculty of Sea Sciences at the Universidad Católica de Valencia advised that fishing resources are in danger as the ecosystems are altered.
He referred to the "serious consequences for human beings of the transformation of ecological chains, including the disappearance of fish and crustaceans of commercial interest."
Over 80% of the world's fishing catches are from continental platforms with an average 300 metre depth, which are seriously affected by the heat.
"The heating up of the sea bed currently affects numerous species, above all those with an optimum thermic level that will not tolerate the heat and move to colder waters," advised Tena, also indicating that other species from warmer habitats will come to find a more adequate habitat.
He pointed out that amongst the tropical fish which arrive through the straits of Gibraltar and the Suez Canal would be moray and conger eels, large crabs and species of shark, already evident as three sharks were spotted last Tuesday off the beaches of La Olla and Cap Negret near to Altea. He also blames the increased temperatures for the explosion in the population of jellyfish, encouraged by the increased currents.
More than 10,000 people have also visited Torrevieja's tourist information offices.
Tags: Jellyfish, Torrevieja