ECOAQUA, ULPGC, Gran Canaria, Spain
The Biodiversity and Conservation Group of the Research Institute ECOAQUA at the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) coordinated a workshop to analyse key elements linked with the conservation of marine biodiversity and to promote the blue economy of coastal areas under an ecosystem approach. The workshop was focused on the western coasts of Gran Canaria Island, including the protection of the marine environment in La Aldea de San Nicolas municipality, especially in the Guguy area.
Marine SABRES, which is funded by the European Union and is being developed, among others, in the Macaronesian region thanks to the work of various research centers in the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands, aims to analyze the current situation and propose mechanisms to improve the balance between social aspects, the blue economy and the natural values of the marine environment.
The Natura 2000 protected area called “Sebadales de Güigui” covers an area of 7,200 hectares and bathes the municipality's coastline. The area aspires to be part of the first National Park of Gran Canaria Island. This being one of the reasons why it has been selected as key element of the Macaronesia Demonstration Area inside the European project.
The area has an undoubted natural wealth and incredible seascape and landscape, with 39 species of endemic flora unique to Gran Canaria (36.8% of those registered) and 78 species exclusive to the Canary Islands (11.8% of the existing total). It would also be the third Spanish National Park with terrestrial and marine surface, after those of the Atlantic Islands (Galicia) and the Cabrera archipelago (Baleares), by integrating its incredible underwater wealth among its values, including its seagrass beds and its underwater black coral forests.
During the meeting, it was concluded that preserving the marine ecosystems of the Guguy area is essential to ensure the provision of products and benefits derived from them, maintain ecological integrity and, in the long term, achieve the sustainability of existing socio-economic activities in this marine area. A questionnaire was also carried out with different representatives of the maritime sectors to obtain their opinion regarding the pressures, measures and initiatives that currently exist for the sustainable management of the rich heritage extant in the Canary Islands marine waters and coasts.
Trumpet fish in Guguy, Gran Canaria