Port of Cartagena – Posidonia Oceanica marine forest

During the last 20 years, the Port of Cartagena has carried out control and surveillance actions on emissions, waste, spillages, MARPOL waste, cleaning of the water surface and follow-up and monitoring of the 7 Natura 2000 Network areas around the port. In 2008, EMAS Register was obtained, with 10 EMAS companies currently operating in the port, a European benchmark.

Since 2011, controls have been carried out on the quality of water, sediment, benthic macrofauna and algae present in the port area. Monitoring campaigns are also conducted on the seabirds present in the port, with monthly observations of birds and cetaceans, together with scientific ringing of protected birds that breed in the port, the Island of Escombreras and the Island of Palomas.

This good environmental quality of the port ecosystem has encouraged us to undertake an R&D&I project to try to reproduce Oceanic Posidonia in port waters, a pioneering project at European and world level, as Oceanic Posidonia is endemic to the Mediterranean. Oceanic Posidonia is a marine phanerogam associated with areas with the highest environmental quality, as it needs clean, well-oxygenated waters without external factors that influence changes in temperature or salinity. It is a fundamental element in preserving the good condition of marine ecosystems due to its capacity to absorb CO2 (4 times greater than a Mediterranean or Atlantic forest), being the habitat of hundreds of species and its capacity to retain the seabed against erosion, which makes it a fundamental element in the face of climate change.

In May 2022, 65 fragments were planted with a survival rate of 76.9% per year, and in May 2023 another 100 have been planted, with plans to expand the area to 1 km2 in a first phase of the project. The goal is to reach 4 km2 by 2030.