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The Atlantic coast of southern Spain
Luque, C.J.; Castillo, J.M.; Figueroa, M.E. (2000). The Atlantic coast of southern Spain, in: Sheppard, C.R.C. (Ed.) Seas at the millennium: an environmental evaluation: 1. Regional chapters: Europe, The Americas and West Africa. pp. 167-184
In: Sheppard, C.R.C. (Ed.) (2000). Seas at the millennium: an environmental evaluation: 1. Regional chapters: Europe, The Americas and West Africa. Pergamon: Amsterdam. ISBN 0-08-043207-7. XXI, 934 pp., more

Available in Authors 
Document type: Review

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Luque, C.J.
  • Castillo, J.M.
  • Figueroa, M.E.

Abstract
    The Atlantic coast of Southern Spain (Gulf of Cadiz) is strongly influenced in terms of its oceanography and species composition by both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Strong currents converge in this area due to the prevailing winds, and occasionally during autumn and winter, strong storms occur that can cause severe erosion of the coastline. A rich terrestrial and marine morphology exists in the Gulf of Cadiz, which allows a variety of coastal ecosystems. This, together with the mild climatic conditions, results in a relatively high biodiversity, and the oceanic currents also lead to relatively high productivity. Up to now the coast has been fairly well conserved and is in generally good condition. Nevertheless it is subject to pressures from many socio-economic activities, both traditional (fishing, harbour, salt mines, etc.) and newly introduced (intensive fishing, industry, tourism, urban development, development of water resources, intensive agriculture and recreational harbours). The area contains several protected areas, including the famous Doñana National Park, though there are pressures on the borders of several and a certain amount of degradation in some. Infrastructure for seasonally elevated populations of visitors has generated some problems, and fisheries of a non-traditional nature are beginning to result in noticeable changes in catches on the productive and broad continental shelf. The area as a whole contains coastal habitats which are unusual in Europe, and the value of this is gradually being recognised by the authorities.

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