During the construction of Gibraltar's Queensway Quay Marina our charity advised the developers on key features to increase the circulation within the marina basin - more and more species now opt for permanent residency. Among them terrestrial species such as the wagtail and the cormorant!
The Helping Hand Trust carried out the initial Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the construction of Queensway Quay Marina. As the developer thought it important to nurture and enhance biodiversity, we additionally advised him on how to realise this goal. The result is an eco-friendly marina which even harbours endangered and protected species - the proof that developers and environmentalists can work hand in hand (for details on the measures, go to our project page: Marinas - Queensway Quay ).
In the cycle of nature marine and terrestrial wildlife are inseparable. Birds such as the wagtail and the cormorant already feed in Queensway Quay Marina for the second year. This tells us that they can find sustainable food resources in this protected and sheltered area. It also shows that improving a marine habitat is of benefit to terrestrial wildlife.
But birds not only live off fish, sometimes birds and fish even share marvellous relationships: The ocean sunfish for example has forged an alliance with terrestrial species ever since: Many parasites nest on the thick skin of the sunfish. To get rid of them, this worldwide biggest fish takes 'sunbaths' on the surface of the sea, exposing one of its sides to the air. This way birds can land on the sunfish's body and feed from the parasites. The presence of birds is also one of the reasons, why predators like sharks avoid the vegetarian-living and docile sunfish. So with the help of birds the sunfish fish could survive all over the globe since ancient times.
Not only animals and plants but also humans have noticed that Queensway Quay is a little oasis. Some of them have told us of sightings of species such as flying fish . Others regularly feed the wild fish such as the golden grey mullet which safely can approach vessels and quay as fishing is prohibited in the marina.
Protected Species with Wondrous Characteristics
We are very pleased to see the Queensway Quay Marina in bloom. The biodiversity has significantly increased since its development and even attracted species protected under Gibraltar's Nature Protection Ordinance.
Among them you can find for instance a master of camouflage, the European spider crab , or the greater pipefish - its snout takes half the length of its head and it is closely related to the sea horse! Whereas, the pink sea fan or gorgonian serves as host for many shrimps and gastropods and can live for decades!
In our view these are excellent examples of how development can be of benefit to wildlife. We hope that more constructors will see the advantages of eco-friendly development, which not only encourages biodiversity but also attracts humans to back-pedal and marvel!