The Strait of Gibraltar

Tarifa harbour with Morocco in the background

The Strait of Gibraltar is a narrow body of water between Spain and Morocco that connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. Upwards of 300 cargo vessels pass through the Strait every day. In spite of the heavy concentration of shipping traffic and the noise caused by it, there is still an abundance of whales and dolphins in these waters.

Why is this so?

At the sill of the Strait, the nutrient-rich upward current from the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea mixes with the water flowing in from the Atlantic Ocean. This provides optimal feeding conditions which attracts both whales and dolphins.

Unfortunately, the brisk traffic in the Strait of Gibraltar had endangered several of the whale species. Firmm has dedicated many years to researching the area and collected petitions to help to bring this issue to the attention of the authorities. Finally, in February 2007, the Spanish Department of the Environment introduced a speed limit in the Strait.

Map of the Strait

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