The Costa Brava (“Wild” or “Rough Coast”) is a coastal region of northeastern Spain, very touristic area due to its known wild beauty. When here, trying one of the many offers for diving or snorkeling on your own, you will be surprised by the thousands of fishes around you, all seems indeed wild and unspoiled! But to remember that marine ecosystems are very fragile in general, and an impact on the smallest of species may have an impact on the whole ecosystem! What governments can do to help, in general, is controlling/regulating fish farming and fishing industries, put in place efficient recycling policies to avoid plastic ending up in the seas and oceans, as well as limiting/reducing the use of industrial fertilizers through regulations, prevent untreated wastewater from being channeled into rivers and seas and restore wetlands and natural coast defenses which help filter nutrients out of the water before reaching the sea! What you can do is: to recycle, to consume pesticide-free products and to respect the environment in general!
We are just outside city of Barcelona, in the multi-peaked rocky mountain range called Montserrat (literally means “saw mountain”), with highest summit at 1236 m. It is well known as the site of the Benedictine abbey, Santa Maria de Montserrat, which hosts the Virgin of Montserrat sanctuary and which is identified by some with the location of the Holy Grail in Arthurian myth. The forests around are part of Montserrat Natural Park, home to some mammals like squirrels, cats, boars and wild goats, which we had the privilege to spot on nearby rocks!
Barcelona is one of biggest city in Spain and even in Europe, with an estimate 4.7 Mil people living in its extended urban area, a top touristic destination at Mediterranean sea. What is less known to non-residents is that the woods around the city are home to a growing population of wild boars, which normally, as night approaches, they come out to feed, sometimes even reaching urban parks, round-abouts and other populated area! Apart from a boom in their population due to lack of natural predators, another reason of their presence at night in urban areas is one of the long term effect of humans hunting the wild boars. Very intelligent, the wild boars (as well as other animals), they learned the under cover of night they are less likely to meet humans, and the urban areas are complete safe heaven from shooting and hunting (with a bonus in food from uncovered garbage areas – not often the case in urban Barcelona).
While some of us enjoy their company, the phenomenon is quite an anomaly, a very adaptive animal multiplying above natural limits. Maybe it is time for authorities to think about re-introduction of natural predators, best suggestion would be the wolf and the lynx (due to its shy nature, it would do all possible to avoid contact with people, while its relative small size would guarantee no danger to humans in case of crossing paths)! That is surely a more efficient and ethical solution instead of hunting, which is the existing preferred method, due to obvious reasons: material profit for local authorities budgets and a few wild boar meat processing factories, which lobby for their own market survival!