The Port Authority of Cartagena is committed to this pioneering pilot project among European ports to consolidate Cartagena as the most sustainable port in the Mediterranean and to contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change.
The Port Authority of Cartagena is making progress in its pioneering project of underwater reforestation of Posidonia meadows in port waters with the work of the second phase where the planting plots in front of the Tajo de Los Cuervos and in front of Cala Cortina have been delimited. “A challenge in terms of sustainability, which places us as a benchmark compared to other European ports, and which will allow us to conserve and care for our marine ecosystem, specifically its flora, and which will contribute to the effects of climate change, capturing four times more CO2 than terrestrial plants”, according to the president of the Port Authority of Cartagena, Yolanda Muñoz.
The project began at the end of May 2021, and at the moment, three 15×15 metre plots have been established, two in Tajo de los Cuervos, with a depth of 12 metres, and another in Cala Cortina, with a depth of 11 metres. The next step is, with the first storms of the winter, to collect fragments of Posidonia, which will be planted in a monitored spot at a shallow depth next to the Talleres dock to facilitate monitoring.
“The areas chosen,” Muñoz said, “respond to the good quality of the port waters, which stand out for their transparency and depth to guarantee the success of this pilot project, which would mean achieving the first underwater reforestation of posidonia meadows in the waters of a port for the first time.
This work is being carried out by the company in charge of controlling the quality of port waters, Laboratorios Munuera, S.L.U., the only one in Europe that has been able to successfully develop a system that has ensured a survival rate of over 90% in the repopulation of Posidonia oceanica meadows carried out in the Balearic Islands, as a compensatory measure for the installation of an underwater cable by Red Eléctrica.
The Port Authority has been working for years to demonstrate the high potential of the seabed as a means of offsetting the carbon footprint. The president of the APC has indicated that “if the result of the project is favourable, it will be possible to plan reforestation on a larger scale to regenerate the current Posidonia meadow that covers some areas of the coast from Punta de la Terrosa to Cabo Tiñoso. With this we will be able to increase the biological richness of our seabed and claim it to be officially recognised as an important carbon sink”.
Posidonia oceanica is an endemic seaweed unique to the Mediterranean Sea, considered among the phanerogamous plants, unlike algae, it has leaves, stems and roots, although it also produces flowers and fruit. It is estimated that more than 400 species of plants and 1,000 species of animals inhabit Posidonia meadows. On the other hand, the meadows function as great filter feeders, helping to keep the seawater clean and transparent.