#7. The restoration of coastal shores and marine habitats-Snorkeling

Hosted by Carlos Sanz, University of Alicante

Tabarca is the largest and the only populated island in the Region of Valencia. It is 22 km from Alicante and occupies ca 300 ha. It is one of the twelve Marine Reserves in Spain protrecting more than 1.700 ha from 0 to 40 m deep. It is characterized by the meadows of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica. The creation of the Reserve was based on the study carried out by the University of Alicante, which highlighted the good state of the marine environment as well as the biological communities that inhabit it and the resources of fishing interest. The Posidonia oceanica meadow, in regression in other areas of the Mediterranean, is in an optimal state of health around the island of Tabarca: it is extensive and dense, offering food and shelter to many invertebrate species such as nacra (Pinna nobilis), currently rare, and vertebrates, directly or indirectly involved in local fisheries.

The oxygen produced by this plant purifies and enriches the water, while the plant cover of the meadow serves as a refuge for large numbers of fish larvae and fry. The roots of the plant contribute to the formation and preservation of beaches, retaining fine sediment and attenuating the erosive effects of waves and currents. And the upturns (arribazones, in Spanish) of dead leaves form characteristic beds on the coast, which indicate the good state of conservation of the surrounding seabed.

The Reserve has an Interpretation Centre, the "Eco-museum of Tabarca Island" managed by the Alicante City Council.

The field trip will introduce the diversity of species and other habitat-forming species of Tabarca and comment the different conservation and restoration measures that have been applied to these habitat-forming species. Additionally, current environmental threats related with climate change, eutrophication or invasive species will be introduced.

Tentative timetable

10:45    Meeting at Alicante port: Kontiki boats dock, Google address: 8GR8+V3 Alicante (Alacant).


   Boat departure


   Arrival to Tabarca island


   Visit to Tabarca’s Eco-Museum and presentation


   Snorkeling with professional divers




   Free time


   Boat departure


   Depart from Tabarca Island

18:30    Arrival to Alicante port



60 €

A minimum of 20 people must be registered for the field tour to be held.


Technical Secretariat



Numancia, 73, 7º C2
08029 - Barcelona (Spain)
Phone: (+34) 933 633 954

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