SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, 22 Nov. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The tenured professor of Marine Biology at the University of La Laguna (ULL) and member of the Marine Communities and Conservation research group, José Carlos Hernández, stated this Monday that “in the last forty years the temperature of Canarian waters has increased by 0.4º per decade and have become more acidic. “
Under the title ‘Climate change in the marine environment of Macaronesia’, Hernández has intervened in the second week of talks and conferences of ‘CampusAfrica’ emphasizing climate change and its impact on factors such as marine currents or the survival of the species.
In addition, he pointed to interactions with other determining factors, such as the use of marine transport.
Among the relevant data exposed, the expert pointed out that in the Canary Islands an increase of 0.25º / 0.4ºC has been detected per decade plus the water temperature in the last 40 years, in addition to a decrease in the PH of – 0.01 Ph / decade in the last 25 years.
“According to the data from the stations, if we look closely, we can realize that our waters are warming and acidifying in response to the incidence of this climate change,” he commented.
Hernández spoke of a “spectacular change” in the marine biota as a consequence of this phenomenon, resulting in the appearance of 100 new species of which half correspond to new types of fish.
“The arrival of these species is being so important that we cannot get to study them all and it is necessary to have more qualified personnel who dedicate time to this. What strikes us the most is that 50% are fish, since 1993 they have been appearing the whale shark in El Hierro and the bull shark, since 2005, which has also reached the Mar de la Calmas, “he specified.
Another of the routes of entry of species, and which is not directly related to the action of man on the climate, is maritime transport and its high concentration, being the islands with the highest record of new species Gran Canaria and Tenerife, given the volume transfer of ships in their respective ports.
As an example, the entry of corals through oil platforms that arrive at ports for repairs or provisioning tasks, before which the expert pointed to the “need” to establish quarantine zones within ports.
Another of the consequences detected by this warming is the direct influence on the increase of cyanobecteria to the detriment of macroalgae and seagrass, which have seen their colonies reduced.
“This is a key fact since the sea absorbs 25% of the CO2 and it does so thanks to this type of species and we are losing them. The most serious thing is that we are witnessing the worldwide disappearance of an endemic species such as moss black, typical of the north of Tenerife, whose disappearance will change the environment of areas such as Puerto de La Cruz or Garachico “, specified the ULL expert.
Among the necessary priorities, the biology expert pointed to the need to continue monitoring the changes that make it possible to have accurate long-term data in order to establish causality.
Likewise, he highlighted the need to establish protection measures for the species that are most at risk of disappearance.
SCIENCE, KEY TO ANIMAL PROTECTION
The second presentation was given by Antonio Fernández Rodríguez, professor of Veterinary Histology and Pathological Anatomy at the ULPGC, director of the Animal Health and Food Safety University Institute, under the title ‘Climate change in the marine environment of Macaronesia: Health, well-being and conservation of cetaceans’.
The expert started his lecture with a reflection on the educational paradigm shift experienced in the islands with regard to the conservation of marine species in the last 50 years.
“We have gone from images of Canary Island fishermen with beaked whales to research teams that study these animals in order to prevent their disappearance,” he said.
Along these lines, Fernández Rodríguez conveyed to the scholarship holders the “relevance of research” in today’s society with a marked polyvalent and multidisciplinary nature.
“More and more requirements are arriving to know the cause of death of a dog, of a horse for example, that is, there is legislation on animal protection and that is why the influence of veterinary forensic reports is so important,” he said.