1360 kg of marine litter has been removed from seagrass meadows on the coast of Tarragona
- SUBMON, with the support of Goodman and Mares Sostenibles, has removed 14 concrete blocks from the seabed in a marine phanerogam conservation project on the Tarragona coastline, between Hospitalet de l’Infant and Mont-roig del Camp.
- The area is part of the Tarragona Southern Coast, a marine protected area of the European Natura 2000 network, where the project began the first actions in June, consisting of the delimitation of the meadows and the location of the litter.
On 1 December, 14 identified concrete blocks impacting seagrass meadows in Hospitalet de l’Infant and Mont-roig del Camp were removed. The removal is part of SUBMON’s Underwater Forests project, which has the support of Goodman and Mares Sostenibles and the collaboration of Vandellós i l’Hospitalet de l’Infant Town Council and Mont-roig del Camp Town Council. The project seeks to preserve the habitats of seagrasses, such as Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa, through monitoring, control and restoration initiatives.
The extraction of debris was carried out by SUBMON together with the company Deltasub, and the litter extracted was collected and transferred to a waste management and treatment plant. Prior to the extraction, SUBMON carried out the delimitation of the underwater forest areas in the area and the location of the litter, with the aim of identifying the pieces of litter to be extracted. Overall, 1,360 kg of waste was removed from the seabed of the Natura 2000 Network area of the Southern Tarragona coastline.
This marine area is home to two species of seagrass, Neptune grass (Posidonia oceanica) and Cymodocea nodosa. Both species create marine habitats that are protected at different levels and for which marine Natura 2000 areas are established, with the purpose of ensuring the long-term survival of these fundamental habitats and contributing to slowing down the loss of biodiversity.
The coast of Tarragona has one of the largest extensions of seagrass meadows on the entire Spanish Mediterranean coast. Currently, the province of Tarragona is home to four marine Natura 2000 sites, with a total area of 54,840 Ha, most of them established by the presence of seagrass meadows.
Seagrasses form underwater forests where more than 1,000 animal and 400 plant species can be found. In addition, they produce 14 to 20 litres of oxygen per square metre per day. Neptune grass and other seagrasses play a key role as regulators of climate change, thanks to their ability to fix CO₂. The destruction of these underwater forests can result in more than 50 kg of CO₂ per square metre being released into the atmosphere. SUBMON’s Underwater Forests project aims to maintain these marine plant forests in an optimal state of conservation so that they can continue to provide their ecosystem services.