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Fishy tales from Mallorca

Less endangered species of fish in Mallorcan waters

The Mediterranean waters around the coast of Mallorca are home to no less than 424 different species of fish. Like almost everywhere else in the world stocks of fish are being depleted annually through many different causes; overfishing, sports fishing, environmental changes and so on.

The Balearic Goverment's Department of the Environment, Agriculture and Fishing has just published the findings of a survey on sealife around the islands called the Red Book of Balearic Fish. Red because it lists the local fish which are in danger, and the news for 2016 is quite good.

This year the list contains 54 species of fish, which shows a slight improvement taking place through the 21st century, as in 2000 there were 62 fish on the list. The reasons given for this, and the increase in the total number of fish species by 15, is the better regulation of fishing and the provision of the best marine reserves in the entire Mediterranean.

Two of the authors of the Red Book will be giving a talk (all in Spanish, so not much use to us tourists) on the subject in Palma Aquarium this week as it is very heavily involved in environmental issues and preservation as well as being an extremely interesting tourist attraction.

Situated in Playa de Palma with good parking facilities and on a couple of main bus routes, the aquarium has more fish than you can shake a 13 foot graphite composite beach rod at! I've been and it really is fascinating with tanks full of sharks, turtles, an outdoor jungle area, and has experts on hand to answer all your questions.

The most popular attractions are dining with sharks, diving with sharks and sleeping with sharks! Myself, I prefer limiting my contact with the fearsome, toothy creatures to their natural habitat, TV programmes!

jellyfish in palma aquarium

You can buy tickets online for the aquarium if you fancy a trip so see some of the endangered fish from the Red Book – the seahorses are just so beautifully elegant – and my favourites, the jellyfish floating about illuminated by multicoloured lights.