The annual open day (Jornada de la Náutica y el Medio Ambiente) in Puerto Calero offers a perfect setting to introduce newcomers to the pleasures of watersports. An ocean destination with a fantastic climate, Lanzarote rarely fails to delight people who try boating, diving or paddle sports for the first time. As a Biosphere Reserve island however, local operators are especially aware of some of the major problems facing the oceans, particularly the issue of plastic pollution where it is now widely understood that plastic content could potentially outweigh fish by the year 2050 if serious measures are not taken to reduce the amount of plastic entering the marine sphere.
Puerto Calero is honoured to be able to fly the prestigious Blue Flag and part of the environmental management commitment that makes up the criteria for the award, includes developing an educational programme that offers visitors, residents and staff a greater understanding of the problems facing nearby sensitive areas; their biodiversity, vulnerabilities, and then proposals for possible solutions for mitigating human impact.
Timed as ever to coincide with UNEP World Environment Day and World Oceans Day, both of which events are focussed this year on reducing plastic use and subsequent ocean pollution, the Puerto Calero Open Day 2018 included activities provided by Marjo and Edwin from SV Grace of Aberdeen and their Ocean Conservation and Research programme, where they invited children to help construct a symbolic representation of the amount of straws used annually by fast food outlets, which if placed end to end would stretch 10 times to the moon, a single and dramatic fact with a significant impact. In return children and families were able to view alternatives to drinking straws and take home an edible straw, kindly donated by the company Sorbos or try making their own straw out of bamboo. Local group Papacria talked about their “Basuraleza” concept, bringing home the impact of finding rubbish in natural spaces and put on workshops making marionettes and drones out of used drinks cans. RedPROMAR was present together with Apnea Canarias Lanzarote promoting a free app that helps identify local marine species and upload sightings as a citizen science project. Their beautifully prepared material is available in English and Spanish and a very rewarding reference on the archipelago’s aquatic biodiversity.
Club Deportivo Código Cero hosted the event, offering sailing trips in J80s and kayaking. SeaSafaris and Lanzarote Powerboat Services took families out for short trips and Club de Actividades Subacuáticas Pastinaca, organisers of the popular Open Fotosub Lanzarote event and frequent seabed cleaners, attended to an unending stream of visitors, all eager to try diving. Places for Lanzarote School 3S‘s popular stand-up paddle classes were the first to fill up and they also organised yoga on paddle boards for adults.
On behalf of Calero Marinas, we also thank the Ayuntamiento de Yaiza for the loan of their stands, the Lanzarote Reserva de la Biosfera for providing an extensive display on how to live with less and some excellent material on eco diving guidelines, a wider understanding of single-use plastics in Lanzarote and cetaceans that either reside or perennially pass through these waters and finally the Ayuntamiento de Arrecife for allowing us to use their display of local marine species.
Until next year!