Gibraltar Chronicle Logo

Andalusian Parliament calls for measures to tackle Pacific seaweed

The Andalusian Parliament has approved a motion calling on the Junta de Andalucia, the regional government, to implement an emergency action plan to tackle invasive brown seaweed that is choking the seabed in the region of the Strait of Gibraltar.

The seaweed, which has also caused problems in Gibraltar in recent years, is native to the western Pacific Ocean and is believed to have arrived in this region inside the ballast tanks of merchant ships.

The Port of Algeciras has at least 14 services that originate in the Pacific region and call at the Spanish port weekly.

Now, the Andalusian parliament is calling on the Junta to impose stricter controls on vessels emptying their ballast tanks in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar and the Bay of Gibraltar.

The seaweed is impacting native Mediterranean species in waters up to 40 metres in depth and has caused problems on the shoreline too as vast mounds of the algae wash ashore.

As well as closer monitoring of vessels, the motion calls for an aid package for Spanish fishermen in the region whose catches have been negatively hit.