Murcia’s Higher Prosecutor’s Office is to open an investigation to clarify the causes of the recent episode of fish mortality in the Mar Menor in order that he can set aside any criminal responsibilities.
Monday’s discovery of hundreds of lifeless fish and crustaceans on along several beaches of the Islas Menores, Mar de Cristal and Cala del Pino, all in the municipality of Cartagena, have already seen the Public Ministry make contact with the Regional Brigade of Environmental Crimes (Brida) of the Autonomous Community.
Heads of this regional department have already informed the Public Prosecutor’s Office of their willingness to share their reports as soon as possible. In addition, according to sources from the Prosecutor’s Office, they have said that, according to the first data, this is not be another episode of anoxia (lack of oxygen) similar the one that occurred in October 2019.
Ant investigation will include the results of the analysis of the water in the affected areas and the examination of specimens of different species.
The Prosecutor’s Office will determine the scope of the enquiry which will include investigations by the Nature Protection Service (Seprona) of the Civil Guard and reports from scientific organizations, such as universities, and expert studies by the corresponding bodies.
In fact, the Seprona already maintains a constant surveillance on everything related to the Mar Menor and that it has already carried out actions to ascertain the death of the fish. Agents from the Benemérita took biological samples from the water and other evidence from the beaches which have been sent to the laboratory for analysis.
Among the questions that the Prosecutor’s Office wants answered is whether the death of the fish is due to the general deterioration of the lagoon, accentuated in recent weeks according to scientific data from the regional Administration; or if it is a “specific event” due to a polluting spill or an anoxic situation that, in turn, originates from recent spills of an agricultural nature (with nutrients and fertilizers).
The Prosecutor’s Office wants to know the scope of the problem, in case it should need to go to local administrations or, where appropriate, to the courts, to demand measures that avoid a greater environmental problem.
The proceedings will be coordinated by the special prosecutor for Urban Planning and the Environment, Miguel de Mata, who will incorporate the results into the summary of the ‘ Topillo case’, the investigation into the responsibility of companies and public administrations in the deterioration of the Mar Menor due to agricultural spills.