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Lanzarote: The end of the fish farm

The President of the Cabildo of Lanzarote is promoting a tripartite meeting with the Government of the Canary Islands and the Yaiza Town Council to confirm that the southern fish farm, Playa Quemada, does not meet the technical conditions for the renewal of its concession.

The Regional Vice-Ministry for the Primary Sector has already rejected the appeal and the company must dismantle the cages.

The president of the Cabildo of Lanzarote, María Dolores Corujo, believes that the days of the marine cages in the current fish farm of Playa Quemada are "numbered" after confirming the rejection of the company's appeal and the Canary Islands Government's request to finally dismantle the cages installed in the waters of the municipality of Yaiza.

Whole Background Story: here

The head of the institution of the island of Lanzarote suggested a working meeting last week with the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Canary Islands Government, Alicia Vanoostende, and the mayor of Yaiza, Óscar Noda, to find a solution to the current situation of this fishing operation, which is having a disastrous impact on the quality of bathing waters and the marine ecosystem in Playa Quemada.

"The impact on the marine ecosystem in this area is very damaging, as shown by the recent scientific studies carried out by the municipality of Yaiza, whose underwater photographs are very revealing of the effects caused for years by the operation of the 53 marine cages that are still installed even though the concession expired last summer," said María Dolores Corujo.

According to the Regional Councillor for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Alicia Vanoostende, the result of this action is clear: "Yaizatun S.A. should have removed the cages from Playa Quemada last August; and although they appealed against this decision, the Vice-Ministry of the Canary Islands Government finally rejected the appeal because they did not fulfil the technical conditions for the renewal of the concession," the councillor explained at the last meeting. She added: "Now they have to complete the dismantling of the cages in this area".

Regenerating the marine environment

The Canary Islands government's decision not to continue aquaculture in this area of Lanzarote's coastline was welcomed by the Cabildo, which during its tenure has shown particular sensitivity to environmental policy in a tourist biosphere reserve like Lanzarote.

"We are, of course, also committed to diversifying economic activity and giving legal certainty to private initiative. But we demand that our environment is not negatively affected, because that is the DNA of an island that continues to be an international benchmark for environmental protection," said María Dolores Corujo. She also clarified that "the necessary time horizon in this matter is that the cages are dismantled and that time will help the marine ecosystem in the area to regenerate and return to its original state".

Mayor Óscar Noda reiterated at the meeting that Yaiza Town Hall "has spared no effort to show and prove with studies that the operation of marine cages in Playa Quemada, whose concession expired last August, has been very harmful to the marine environment for more than 20 years. The latest scientific study that we presented in September this year confirms that there is a strong decrease in sea cages and in the accumulation of mud on the seabed, results that we immediately sent to the Government of the Canary Islands, as the competent authority, to order the cessation of the activity, which we have been asking for years".

The aquaculture activity in Playa Quemada began in 2001; in the summer of 2021, after the expiry of the legal concession, it was ordered to stop, against which the company appealed. The Government of the Canary Islands recalls that the appeal has already been dismissed as it did not meet the technical conditions for the renewal of the concession.


Text: Chris Ernst | Photos: Sabine La fotógrafa Pelirroja

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