Conclusions of the ULPGC study (University of Las Palmas)

The regeneration of the seabed associated with the creation of the Underwater Park La Atlántida and a significant increase in fish populations have been observed.

With respect to the study carried out in 2013 in the same area prior to the regeneration works, a clear transition can be observed from poor environments, such as bleached areas, to rocky reef environments and “rhodolith” bottom of the sea, recognized by the European Union as rich habitats and of special interest and protection.

The installed elements in the Underwater Park have functioned as artificial reefs. As a result, up to 56 species of marine macrofauna have been observed in the regenerated area, with a representation of 40 vertebrates and 16 invertebrates, as well as 11 species of flora.

All the species were observed associated with all the installed elements (more than 300 of different sizes) in the Underwater Park, with an almost homogeneous distribution.

The activity developed by the company Atlántida Submarine is fully aligned with the objectives of the Canary Islands Blue Economy Strategy 2021 – 2030 (ECEA 2030) of the Government of the Canary Islands and with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

The presence “per se” of the Underwater Park, together with the development of the associated ecotourism activity, has generated benefits that go beyond the environmental aspects, since it represents a clear opportunity to quantify and value the economic benefit of a habitat and its operating costs.

Furthermore, the Underwater Park is also an ideal natural laboratory for the study and monitoring of events such as climate change and rising temperatures, as well as a perfect space for the development of scientific research.

The existence of the Atlántida Submarine company shows that there is a clear benefit in the safeguarding and sustainable operating of certain areas with a poor ecological character in an initial state.