Beaches as a natural space

Natural heritage

Barcelona’s beaches are part of the city’s natural heritage, so we need to look after them and avoid activities that impair the water quality, and therefore the habitat of many marine organisms.

Did you know that there is an underwater park of artificial reefs opposite Barcelona’s beaches? And that the sea beds along Barcelona’s coast area is home to organisms such as worms, snails, crabs, octopuses, cuttlefish, starfish and sand anemones? Find out all about them on this webpage.

Biodiversity

The Barcelona coastline, despite the constant transformation it undergoes as a result of human activity, hosts biodiversity that we must treasure.

What are the seabeds like?

The sandy beds host worms, sea snails, crabs, octopuses, cuttlefish, and some fish that have leant to camouflage themselves.

We find the most biodiversity on the rocky substratum, especially fish such as salps, sea bream, white sea bream, scorpion fish, red mullet, serranidae, grey mullet, and occasionally some species of ray. We can also find a large variety of invertebrates, such as starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and sand anemones.

Reef Park

In order to help to enlarge the rocky substratum, there is an artificial reef park submerged in front of Barcelona’s beaches. The modules it is made of simulate the surfaces and holes of natural rocky seabeds and are home to diverse communities of marine flora and fauna.

The reefs, as well as encouraging the well-being of seabeds and improving artisanal fishing off the coast of Barcelona, are a very attractive area for practising environmentally friendly underwater activities.

Marine ecosystems

Marine posidonia (Neptune grass) ecosystems are responsible for approximately half the storage of the world’s blue carbon, that is, the carbon that is captured and accumulated by the planet’s coastal vegetations: coastal marshland, mangroves and seagrass meadows.

In the Catalan sea, the ecosystems linked to blue carbon are quite depleted and only occupy around 92 km2.

For this reason, Barcelona City Council is encouraging the protection and enlargement of the current marine carbon gutters (mainly the seagrass meadows of Garraf and Maresme) between the municipalities of the Barcelona coastline, at the same time as rearranging the usage models of coastal areas in accordance with a policy of continuous improvement of environmental practices and prevention of coastal pollution, with the ultimate goal of maintaining the quality, biodiversity, productivity and dynamism of our sea.

Natural heritage

Barcelona’s beaches are part of the city’s natural heritage, so we need to look after them and avoid activities that impair the water quality, and therefore the habitat of many marine organisms.

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