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This news is translated from the Spanish Press unless otherwise indicated.

Salt production revived on the island

Between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, salt was a developing industry in Fuerteventura, with several working farms in areas like Porbeagle (on Los Lobos), Gran Tarajal, The Hondurilla in Caleta de Fuste and El Charco in Puerto del Rosario. At present, salt production on the island is only in Salinas del Carmen in the municipality of Antigua, after the introduction of industrial processes in the nineteenth centurary. They continue to produce this product according to traditional methods, and have helped keep the ancient craft of salt collection alive. Thanks to an agreement between the Cabildo of Fuerteventura and the Canary Island Employment Service (SCE), two unemployed people will learn this ancient craft. The collection of salt is usually between February and October, but can be extended to the winter months if rainfall is low, at the moment, Salinas del Carmen are in full production. Production in Salinas del Carmen is 70,000lbs of salt a year, a very modest amount when compared to larger companies, which would not be sufficient to supply the island population. However, it is first class quality, as demonstrated by recent comparative studies with common salt. The biochemical analysis performed on Fuerteventura salt, found that the iodine content of the salt is 8 ppm (parts per million), five times higher than normal.

Tenders advertised for new desalination plant

Tenders for the new desalination plant in Puerto del Rosario and water supply reservoirs have been advertised for in the Official Gazette of the European Community. The joint investment of both projects is €24 million and was funded by the Canary hydraulic infrastructure. Manuel Miranda, director of Water and Waste stresses the importance of this publication, because it allows forward planning both on design and work, in both cases."  He adds that " It will allow us to respond to the needs of the island over the coming decades, and be the main artery for the distribution of water." The capacity of the new desalination plant is the production of 14,000 cubic meters of water a day, which is about 60% more the existing production plant.

Call to axe flight taxes

Easyjet and Ryanair have welcomed a decision by the Dutch government to axe its flights tax – a version of the UK’s Air Passenger Duty

Ryanair called on the Irish and UK Governments to follow the example and scrap the Irish tourist tax and Gordon Brown’s £10 airport tax.

It said European Governments cannot stimulate tourism by taxing visitors, but should welcome tourists by lowering Europe’s airport and ATC taxes

“Ryanair has campaigned against high airport tax and so called “eco”tax which deter visitors and has cost the Dutch tourism industry millions in lost revenue,” said Ryanair’s Daniel de Carvalho.

“Tourists have voted with their feet and turn their back on the Netherlands as a tourist destination. Today’s decision to abolish this tax is a sensitive step to reverse the steep decline in traffic that the Netherlands has suffered.”

Easyjet chief executive Andy Harrison said: “The Dutch Government has done the right thing to ensure that aviation has a future in The Netherlands

“But even after the tax is abolished, Schiphol will be Europe’s second most expensive airport – more expensive than Paris, Frankfurt or Zurich.”

He added: “The Dutch government has put the ball on the penalty spot; Schiphol must now convert the penalty and bring its cost in line with other major airports in Europe.

“Only if both conditions are met will airlines start investing in The Netherlands again.”

Tourist restaurant translation guide released

The Council for Tourism in Fuerteventura has translated approximately 700 dishes and products common in majorera dishes to the languages of the eight nationalities with the greatest tourist presence in Fuerteventura. The objective is so that hotel establishments  can translate their boards and menus to the native languages of the majority of their clients. After doing a study and translating the most frequent terms used on boards and menus, they are now distributing to 900 restaurants, bars and cafeterias on the Island, the translation of these 700 dishes and products in English, German, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Polish and French. Its meaning in each language is also explained, e.g. sancocho, (typical salted canarian stew of fish, potatoes and sweet potatoes) in English, (kanarisches gericht mit gesalzenem fisch, kartoffeln und süsskartoffeln) in German, (plat typiquement canarien qui compose of Poisson salé, patates douces, boules of farine of waxen to them ET gravy) in French, and (typisk kanarisk rätt M. you jump fisk, sötpotatis, potatis), in Swedish. Of the 700 translated entries, 430 correspond to the different types of dishes and drinks, and 270 to the gastronomical expressions and terms. In this last group typical products of  canarian food such as frangollo, gofio, cabrito, gravy or stew, with their corresponding explanation in each language are included.

Recycling increases by 24%

The Canary Islands last year recycled 29,000 tons of paper, cardboard and light containers, which is an increase of 24% compared to 2007. Under the motto of “Life in the park”, a campaign to bring awareness back to citizens on the importance of the correct separation of packages in the home as gesture necessary to contribute to the conservation of the environment and the saving of raw materials, has begun. This initiative will tell of the importance of depositing rubbish in its correct container for its later reusability in new products. The Canary Islands obtained one of the best results in Spain last year. They also had the lowest amount of rubbish put in wrong containers, at 17% compared to 25% on mainland. Since the scheme was started (SIG) by Ecomebes, in May 1998 they have dealt with more than 10 million tons of recyclable rubbish.

Fake goods ring smashed

Several officers of the Local Police, entered an establishment in Corralejo, inspecting numerous articles and objects with famous trade marks, and found them to be fakes. The man was arrested because he could not explain, how he had that many articles at cut prices, that ranged between €15 and €40, when their market value should have been between €250 and €470. Several bazaars have closed in Corralejo, from the fear of the same happening to them.

Boat runs aground in Morro Jable

The Rescue Service Pájara rescued the six crew members of a sailboat that ran aground in Jandía. The six crew of the beached sailboat, all of them Swiss, are all safe and well, informed sources at the Marine Rescue. The same source could not clarify the cause of the incident, that ran aground near the coast of Morro Jable, in the south of Fuerteventura.

Rescued Turtle released

A turtle rescued near Los Lobos has successfully been released near Cofete. The turtle had to be rescued having been badly hurt by a large hook. The release of the 70 kilgram turtle is important because it has been equipped with a radiotransmitter that will allow it to be tracked by satellite to detect the behavior of the animal during the next months, this is the first time an operation of this type has been carried out in the waters off Fuerteventura. The release has been carried out thanks to the coordination between the Town hall, the Environmental Observatory of Granadilla, who have implanted transmitters on ten previous occasions, and the recovery center of Injured Fauna of Talierte, where the operation was carried out that saved the life of the turtle. The installation of the radiotransmitter GPS (Global Position System) took place shortly before the release near the Day-care center of Turtles of Morro Jable. The device has an life of four to five months, and the capacity to send information to the satellite every 11 days, because although it is not able to send signals under water, it takes advantage of the times when the turtle breaks the surface to breathe to send its signal. The tracking of the turtle will be carried out from the Observatory of Granadilla by means of the Internet, whose equipment will make a virtual display of all the movements of the turtle. “Thanks to this device we will be able to know much more about the behavior of the animal around Cofete, if it remains in waters off the Island or if it moves towards Gran Canaria or Lanzarote. The resulting information of this study can give important data that will enrich the Project of the  Reintroduction of the Turtle,", said Natalia Évora.

Lobos and the Dunes get new tourist attractions

Over the next few months approximately €380,000 will be invested to improve the environment of Los Lobos and the opening of visitors centres on the Dunes of Corralejo and Los Lobos. Councillor for the Environment, Natalia Evora, said the projects are a continuation of work already underway that is helping improve the entire area, seeking compatibility between people and the preservation of natural ecosystems, and also to enhance the area as a major attraction for tourists. The most important project is the reintroduction of salt plains on Los Lobos. There are various structures that are evidence of the heritage of the island and the various types of human activity that has occurred in the past, we are preserving them for the enjoyment of visitors. They are also renovating three lime kilns.

New Wind Farms approved

The Department of Energy has approved the allocation of new wind farms to produce all the power on Fuerteventura. These will produce 30 megawatts of power. Four companies have been allocated to generate power, Fuerteventura Wind Six Natural Gas, SL (9.2 megawatts), wind Barbanza, SA (7.2), Iberdrola Renewable Energies Canary SA (9.2) and wind power Fuerteventura, SL (4.4 megawatts). These companies can start to build wind farms in the areas known as Morro in Puerto Galera del Rosario III, Pozo Negro in the municipality of Antigua, Puerto Galera Morro del Rosario and La Tablada in Tuineje.

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