Climate change, increase of medusa and microplastics are present in the debate of the Red Cross

At 8:00 p.m. yesterday, a debate was held at the LA PROVINCIA Club (León y Castillo 39) to commemorate the global days of Health (April 7), the Environment (June 5) and the Red Cross (8 may). The meeting aimed to mobilize society against the suffering of others.

The event welcomed the participation of the president of the Local Assembly of the Spanish Red Cross in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Antonio Rico, the general director of Public Health of the Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands, José Juan Alemán, and the professor of Biology of the ULPGC and coordinator of the Ecophysiology Group of Marine Organisms (EOMAR) of IU-EcoAqua, May Gómez. Each speaker made a fifteen-minute presentation before the start of questioning among the audience.

During his speech, May Gómez put on the table three major environmental issues. On the one hand, the coordinator of EOMAR talked about climate change. Increases in water temperatures and ocean acidification are causing many problems, such as loss of biodiversity, changes in ecosystems or the emergence of invasive species.

On the other hand, the professor addressed the issue of the increase of jellyfish populations worldwide, with consequent economic losses due to the closure of beaches for tourism, damage to aquaculture companies and refrigeration systems in coastal industries.

Finally, May Gómez exposed on the accumulation of plastics and its fragmentation in microplastics. These microplastics are entering the marine food chains. Several studies by EOMAR have revealed that 33% of mackerel sampled in local markets contain plastics in the stomach. The main problem of these microplastics is that they adsorb toxic chemical compounds that are transferred to the trophic chains and generate damages in the health of the population.