Fertilizers loaded with nitrates that are used in agricultural activities have been indicated as the main cause of the lack of oxygen in the sea. Now, the looks begin to become also towards the role that has played intensive livestock in the ecological disaster that asphysia the lagoon.
An investigation by Lighthouse Reports, in collaboration with journalists from Eldiary.es and the tide, notes how the intensive pig farms have been one of the instigators of anoxia (lack of oxygen) that has devastated the wilderness of the sea. Images of Dron and satellite of the area, collected in September, show waste spilled out of the plow rafts (organic waste mixture), discharged on nearby or stored grounds in the ground.
In 2019, a report from the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (Mitteco) already notes that pig farms (sector that then had almost 800,000 heads) could be responsible for an important part of the nitrogen that ends in the sea Less. "It is estimated that the porcine sector in the slope of the Cartagena Field provides approximately 17% of the nitrogen that passes to the aquifer by infiltration and the rest is due mostly to agriculture, rest of livestock and other activities," explained the authors.
This basin has 1,055 rafts filled with waste, including stool, urine and blood, according to data from the 2018 Regional Government. And the MITECO report indicated in particular the municipality of Fuente Álamo - almost 45 km from the shore of The lagoon - that with its 289 farms concentrates 80% of the intensive livestock of the Menor Sea basin.
The porcine sector has lived an important growth in recent years in Spain. In 2020 more than 56 million pigs were sacrificed (3 million more than the previous year) and the increase in demand for exports makes it within the point of overcoming Germany as the first producer of the EU this year. An important part of the demand that is driving growth comes from China, which lost about 40% of its pigs by African swine fever in 2019.
The Regional Executive, for its part, has rejected the conclusions of the Ministry Report. "It does not respond to the reality of the area, that is, to the truth," has declared the Ministry of Water, Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Environment to the Authors of Research. On the other hand, Interporc Spain, which represents the white pork sector (the most used race in intensive livestock) has been defended by declaring that the sector has been making "great efforts" to protect the environment "and that" in Spain, More than 90% of the purines are reused to replace the fertilizers, but they can also be treated and transformed into electrical energy. "
The pollution of the nitrates resulting from human activities is increasingly raising problems with European authorities. According to the data published on October 11 by the Commission - the period from 2016 to 2019-, the efforts of the Member States remain insufficient to deal with excessive use techniques whose nitrogen causes the depletion of oxygen and deteriorates the quality of " Water, air and soil, affecting human health and the environment ". In particular, it indicates the use of fertilizers. During the reference period, 14.1% of groundwater control stations continued to exceed 50 milligrams by liter of drinking water as an annual average. In the EU, 36% of rivers, 32% of lakes, 31% of coastal waters and 81% of marines suffer eutrophication.
This scientific term, which describes the current situation of the lower sea, refers to the excessive growth of phytoplactonic microorganisms before the presence of nutrients (in this case nitrates and phosphates), until oxygen is consumed and an incompatible point with life in its waters . These outcrops of microalgae and bacteria dye of green the sea, so it is commonly called 'green soup' and is identified by its high indices of chlorophylls. When the growth of the phytoplankton is triggered, blocks the passage of light to the deepest layers, which prevents algae and marine plants from the fund to perform photosynthesis and die as well.Updated Date: 15 October 2021, 17:06