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ROCK BOTTOM Thefts Degrade Volcanic Region

Tuesday December 19, 2017

ROCK BOTTOM Thefts Degrade Volcanic Region

Semi-precious stones, fossils and samples of volcanic rock are disappearing from Lanzarote’s volcanic region at an alarming rate, according to a leading volcanologist – with both tourists and locals to blame.

Leading volcanologist Carmen Romero has warned island authorities that the Lanzarote’s unique geological heritage is at grave risk, as all sorts of samples are being surreptitiously secreted away from their original environment.

Tourists taking samples as souvenir are amongst the key culprits. During the course of 2012 alone staff at the island’s airport were confiscating some 500 rocks every month – a figure that can only have risen since thanks to the increased number of tourist arrivals over the last five years. And all despite attempts to shame visitors by displaying confiscated rocks at the airport along with a sign imploring tourists to respect Lanzarote’s landscape.

There are also few local homes that don’t have a sample or two on display somewhere in the house or garden, whilst local businesses have also been known to requisition materials from the volcanic region.

All of these acts are in fact illegal, outlawed under the Law of Protected Natural Spaces and the Insular Plan. Yet still, olivine samples are peddled for sale in Los Hervidores whilst fossils from the Natural Volcano Park are offered via Facebook and other online portals.

As a result Carmen is calling for an educational campaign designed to raise awareness of the need to protect Lanzarote’s unique volcanic landscapes intact in order to preserve them for the enjoyment of future generations.




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