The Marine SABRES project held a consultation focused on the conservation of the coastal marine ecosystem of Gran Canaria

The Marine SABRES project held a consultation focused on the conservation of the coastal marine ecosystem of Gran Canaria

The Biodiversity and Conservation Group of the University Institute of Sustainable Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (ECOAQUA) at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) coordinated a conference last week, under the framework of the Marine SABRES project. The main objectives were to conserve marine biodiversity, promote the blue economy of coastal areas, and protect the marine environment in the Guguy part of La Aldea de San Nicolás.

2_Marine_SabresFirst session at the Rectorate of the ULPGC, with representatives from elittoral (José Valdazo) and Spirit of the Sea (Javier Zaera), discussing cetacean watching activities.

The Marine SABRES project is funded by the European Union and is being developed in the Macaronesian region, between other two regions, involving various research centres from the Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Azores. One of its primary goals is to analyse 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 area known as "Sebadales de Güigüi" covers an area of 7,219.74 hectares along the coastline of the municipality. Guguy aspires to become part of Gran Canaria's first National Park, which is one of the reasons it has been selected as one of the main study areas by the European project.

6_Sebadales-de-GuguyPhoto by Francisco Otero Ferrer - Seagrass meadows of Guguy.

The region boasts undeniable scenic and natural richness, with 39 species of unique flora in Gran Canaria (representing 36.8% of all recorded species) and 78 species exclusive to the Canary Islands (11.8% of the total existing species). Furthermore, it would be the third Spanish National Park to include both terrestrial and marine areas, following the examples of Islas Atlánticas in Galicia and the Cabrera Archipelago in the Balearic Islands, owing to its incredible underwater wealth, including seagrass meadows and black coral forests.

The work sessions, which took place throughout the week, involved the participation of the research team comprising Josephine Koopman and Britt Thijssen from the Dutch center HuFoSS, along with Ricardo Haroun, the director of the ECOAQUA Institute, and Inma Herrera, a researcher from the same center. These sessions were held at the Institutional Headquarters of the ULPGC and in the municipalities of Mogán (Arguineguín), Agaete, and La Aldea, where a series of meetings were organized with key stakeholders, users, and stakeholders involved in the coastal zone to the west of Gran Canaria.

3_Marine_SabresFirst session at the Rectorate of the ULPGC, with representatives from elittoral (José Valdazo) and Spirit of the Sea (Javier Zaera), discussing cetacean watching activities.

During the initial part of the meetings, it was emphasized that preserving the marine ecosystems of the Guguy area, particularly along the coast, and conserving its marine habitats are crucial to ensure the provision of products and benefits derived from them. This conservation effort aims to maintain ecological integrity and achieve the long-term sustainability of socioeconomic activities in this area.

The second session of the conference, which concluded on Friday, July 21, involved conducting a questionnaire with representatives from various maritime sectors who had been interviewed throughout the week. The questionnaire aimed to gather their opinions on the pressures, measures, and initiatives currently in place for the sustainable management of Gran Canaria's rich coastal heritage.

4_Marine_Sabres_3Meeting in Arguineguín with local fishermen from the fishing guild.



**For more information, please contact Beatriz Díaz - / +34620410871.

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