6 Aug, 2019 @ 12:11
1 min read

SAVE OUR SEAHORSES! A British metal detectors club battling to save seahorses on the Costa Blanca

A BRITISH metal detecting club is aiding a local environmental group to save endangered seahorses on the Costa Blanca.

Two teams from the Asociacion de Anglo Parlantes (ADAPT) spend every Monday, Wednesday and Friday scouring the beaches of the Mar Menor saltwater lagoon, near Cartagena.

DETECTORS ARE GO! One of two teams at work in the Mar Menor

The hobbyists collect lead weights discarded by fishermen, which have a toxic effect upon endangered seahorses.

“It’s a far cry from the dammers that think all metal detectorists are looters and up to no good,” club leader Rod Toms told the Olive Press.

“For the responsible detectorist this what we really do – we are not bad people.”

The club has collected nearly 50kg of lead since July 2018, which they donate to the local Asociacion Hippocampus.

SAVED: Lead weights recovered from the Mar Menor

This Spanish conservation organisation then melts the toxic metal and resells it to fund seahorse breeding development.

“ADAPT’s help is extremely valuable to creating a circular economy,” president of Asociacion Hippocampus, Cristina Mena, told the Olive Press.

She said with the help of SCUBA diving schools, her association has cleaned up 500kg of lead from the Mar Menor.

The ecologically important site had all its blue flags stripped in 2017 due to rampant pollution.

AT RISK: Lead weights cause acidification, which can damage the seahorse’s reproductive cycle

She said that acidification due to lead – and other contaminants – significantly affected the seahorse’s reproductive cycle.

“The metal detectors play a hugely beneficial role in helping us save the seahorses,” Mena added.

Joshua Parfitt

Joshua James Parfitt is the Costa Blanca correspondent for the Olive Press. He holds a gold-standard NCTJ in multimedia journalism from the award-winning News Associates in Twickenham. His work has been published in the Sunday Times, Esquire, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Sun on Sunday, the Mirror, among others. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss devastating flooding in Spain, as well as making appearances on BBC and LBC radio stations.

Contact me now: joshua@theolivepress.es or call +44 07960046259. Twitter: @jjparfitt

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