The City of La Oliva has launched a campaign ‘Pasa sin huella por La Oliva’ or Leave without damaging La Oliva, and is promoted by the Department of Tourism with the collaboration of the Telesforo Bravo Foundation, to warn of rhodolith theft that occurs on the beaches on the north of the island.
Some may not know about rhodoliths, which are often colourful, unattached, branching marine red algae that resemble coral, and create a biogenic habitat for many communities.
The appearance of this type of calcareous algae, similar to thread, has popularised these beaches through the hashtag #PopCornBeach, which has encouraged the pillage of this type of fossil of great heritage value.
The Mayor of La Oliva, Isai Blanco, explained “Many times, without realising it, we are damaging the environment with mounds of stone, or damaging the natural and cultural heritage with inscriptions in areas of geological and paleontological value, which is impossible to recover.”
This threat looms over the beaches on the north coast of Fuerteventura after becoming famous on Instagram, because these are made up of rhodoliths that look like popcorn. Fuerteventura has dozens of kilometres of white sand beaches that make it a much sought-after destination for thousands of tourists every year. However, the local community want tourists and residents to stop removing rhodoliths from the beaches of La Oliva. Just visit, enjoy it, and leave without damaging the environment.
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