Palma.— A gradually diminishing coastline, an increase in the salt content of sea water and its decreasing clarity are just some of the effects of climate change, Silvia Sanchez - biologist and expert on sustainable environmental management - said yesterday.

She is speaking at a conference being held today at the Palma Aquarium on “Climate Change and Tourism in the Balearic Islands.” Sanchez claimed that these factors, combined with extreme meteorological conditions are going to have repercussions on the regional tourist industry in the medium term.

Sanchez said that some of the signs are already visible. She explained that there are noticeably less acccessible areas of unspoiled shoreline and that the rising sea temperature and the increasing murkiness of the water means that delicate marine eco-systems are ceasing to thrive. “All this means that the Islands are losing one aspect of their attraction to foreign visitors,” Sanchez said.

Climate change, she furthered, is going to mean that hoteliers and the nautical sports industry are going to feel the knock-on effect.

Sanchez pointed out that the Balearics continue to suffer extreme meteorological conditions, citing the fact that already temperatures in what is still spring time have risen to 35 degrees and look set to increase to reach historic records.

The expert referred to other weather phenomenons such as storms and torrential rain which are reportedly going to be on the rise. As well as creating environmental instability, these conditions are likely to dissuade tourists from repeating holidays in the Balearic Islands, Sanchez warned.