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The Government Plans on Protecting a Sea Area 120 Miles Away from the Galician Coast

We are talking about a submarine mountain known as “Banco de Galicia”, which is located 120 miles away from the Atlantic coast, in front of the Corrubedo coast more or less Galicia might have this year a protected marine area, which implies exercising preservation measures over its nature richness.

The announcement was done yesterday by the General Director of Fishing Resources, Fernando Curcio, who pointed out that the declaration entails a usage regulation, which would affect both maritime navigation and industrial and fishing. “It is too early” to define exactly the possible restrictions that the area could have under its new classification, although as Mr. Curcio mentioned, “the creation of a protected marine area means the restriction of human activity.”

The area of the “Banco de Galicia” that will under special protection covers a 836 square meters surface and it is separated from the coast by a canal 2,500 meters deep.

One of the hillsides of the mountain, towards the south, happens to be the area where the “Prestige” sank.

The average depth on the “Banco de Galicia” is about 700 meters and the minimum depth 500 meters. The ecosystems to be protected are cold water and white corals, which grow very slow and are very vulnerable to the trawling nets. Regarding the fishing resources, the area presents deep water crustaceans and fishes such as, sharks or deep water skates.

The proposal to declare this area of the Galician Coast as marine protected was analyzed in the Fishing Department yesterday by technicians from different Departments. It belongs to a comprehensive plan that wants to increase up to thirteen the number of specially protected areas in the Spanish waters on the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

So, along with the “Banco de Galicia”, the “Banco del Cachucho” (Asturias), Cape Creus (Cataluña), Menoría Channel (Baleares) have also been proposed to be protected areas. Other protected areas will be extended; Columbretes Islands (Valencian Community), Palos Cape and Hormigas Islands (Murcia) and, Alboran Island (Andalucia).

The meeting held yesterday served to give the approval for starting the technical work to establish said areas, in which technicians and lawyers will participate, so they can establish the current impact of the human activities over these ecosystems, for stating a regulation.

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