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monk seal being reintroduced isla lobos

Monk seal being reintroduced to Isla de Lobos?

Panic among the fishermen of Lanzarote before the possible return of the monk seal to Isla de Lobos.

The chain Ser anticipates that "the Fishermen's Association of Playa Blanca is alert to the possibility and rejects the reintroduction of this species on the Isla de Lobos"


According to Cadena Ser, the Ministry of Fisheries has in its hands a project to reintroduce the monk seal (Monachus monachus) on the island of Lobos, located between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, where in ancient times there were several colonies until it ended up disappearing from that place.

The monk seal is considered one of the most endangered species in the world and is that at present, its populations are distributed mostly between the eastern Mediterranean Sea, Mauritania, and Madeira.

On the islands they were a common species until the arrival of the European conquerors in the fourteenth century, when sea lions camped at ease on Isla de Lobos. The need for meat and fat of the new colonizers and the ease of hunting on land decimated the population quickly, and made them migrate to other areas of the continent, in this case in Cabo Blanco in Mauritania.

In the case of the Canary Islands, evidence has been found in different archaeological sites of the Archipelago that show that the monk seal was present on all the islands although when the Castilians arrived, there were only colonies on the island of Lobos until, with the passage of time, they ended up disappearing.

Now and to know the opinion of the sectors involved with the activity in the sea, the Ministry has already begun to ask among others to the fishermen to explain whether or not they agree on the return of this species to that area.

From the Fishermen's Association of Playa Blanca, in the south of Lanzarote, they are clear since their main patron, Cristo Caraballo, has come to ensure that the return of the seals would mean "ruin" for the sector. He adds that "it feeds on many kilos of fish a day."

Old recurring project

Although it has not transpired that it has changed in the position of the ministry, the truth is that there is talk of the reintroduction on the islands of this endangered species for more than 30 years through a life project of the European Union, a situation that has not occurred so far and that seems very complicated.

In this sense, the current situation of Isla de Lobos almost certainly prevents this species from settling due to the human pressure that the islet suffers every day.
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