Reintroduction of the Monk Seal in Fuerteventura

Last June 12th it took place in Corralejo the sixth meeting of working on the Action Plan for the recovery of the Monk seal in the Mediterranean and the Eastern Atlantic, where environmental technicians specialised on the monk seal (Monachus monachus) showed case studies that prove that the Eastern Canary Islands (Fuerteventura and Lanzarote) provide the ideal environment for the reintroduction of this species, which disappeared from our coasts in The Middle Ages.

As we told you in our previous article, the islet of Lobos we visit every day in our boat trips from Corralejo, was in ancient times the habitat of this species, because of the peace and quiet and the quality of its water.

The Monk Seal is one of the most primitive species that exist, dating back to 14 thousand years.

This primitivism can be the cause of their great sensitivity towards the human intrusiveness, much more developed than in other phocidae species. And as they always lived in remote and isolated places, free from the threat by terrestrial aquatic predators, they developed a trusting nature, tame and docile, not feeling the need to run away, which is why they have always been at a disadvantage when the threats of the modern world have triggered.

The number of monk seals throughout history has declined due to different reasons:

– The pollution of their habitat: oil spills, black tides…
– The overbuilding in the coast and the access to almost every corner of the coasts, which has turned the man into an intruder of their peaceful corners.
– The sea traffic and its spills, noise, accidents…
– The aggressions they have suffered straight by the men, in many occasions by fishermen who have seen in this species a threat for their catch and they have chosen to get rid of them.
– The development of the fishing gears, which have turned into true traps for the specimens of this species.

The alert on the possible extinction of this species at a global level has set into motion different projects of recovery, such as the one developed by The General Direction of Nature Conservation in the Ministry of Environment and the Regional Environment Vice-Ministry from the Canary Islands, which is trying to reintroduce this species to the Spanish fauna through the Eastern Canary Islands: Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, locations which enjoy unbeatable characteristics for this purpose.

At present, the biggest representation of monk seals in the Mediterranean is found in the colonies in Madeira and Cabo Blanco (boundary between Mauritania and the Western Sahara). The aim of this reintroducing project is that of moving out the specimens of the colony in Cabo Blanco to our coasts, so as to ensure a natural genetic corridor communicating the depleted population from Madeira with that from Cape Verde, thus trying to stop them from being isolated in space, as one of the biggest dangers they are exposed to is that of being concentrated all of them on the same area and any natural disasters (black tide, virus infections, accidents) could exterminate a great deal of them.

This project is still on feasibility study and has recently been approved by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). The Scientific institutions in charge of carrying out these studies are the University of Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Barcelona.

The quality of the water, the wealth in marine biodiversity in the Canary Islands and the amount of protected areas in the island turn our waters into an ideal place to achieve the aims of this project.

At present there are other similar projects of recovery of this colony in Hawaii, Madeira, Mauritania, and Morocco, which are getting very good results as confirmed by Pablo Fernández de Larrinoaga, from the CBD-Habitat Foundation.

FuerteCharter’s Team

The monk seal: an ancient inhabitant in our coasts

As many of you know, one of the greatest attractions of our boat trips from Corralejo is the visit to our neighbour islet of Lobos.

The islet of Lobos was named like this after a colony where a great deal of monk seals from the Mediterranean (Monachus monachus),also known as sea lions or sea cows, lived and nowadays they have completely disappeared from our coasts.

The quality and marine biodiversity in these waters, together with the loneliness and isolation they enjoyed in that environment turned the islet of Lobos into an excellent retreat for the development of this species, which came to gather thousands of specimens.

When the conquest of this island began to take place these animals were chased by the conquerors, who coveted their fur, grease and meat, causing the extinction of this species in our coasts in the Middle Ages.

Description
The Monk Seal from the Mediterranean Sea is a pinniped mammal, from the family Phocidae, and it’s one of the most weird species that exist. In ancient times it inhabited the whole Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic in the North of Africa, reaching Madeira, The Canary Islands, Cape Verde and its remains date back to 12-14 thousand years.

The name of the monk seal has two different interpretations: on the one hand it makes reference to the isolated character of this species, as it inhabits coast areas which are difficult to reach and far away from the human beings —just like the monks, who retrieved themselves in secluded monasteries— and on the other hand, the wrinkles around its neck look like the shawl that Franciscan monks wear on their shoulders.

It has a strong body, with rounded head and short limbs in the shape of flippers. The usual size of males is around 300cm long, and they weigh around 350kg, while the females are around 290 cm long and weigh around 300kg. The fur covering their whole body is short and either grey or dark brown (white on their belly)

Habitat and distribution
This species usually looks for shelter in sea caves, although in the past, when there were large settlements, they also were on sand beaches. We can easily imagine them sunbathing on the beach of La Concha in the islet of Lobos.

In ancient times they spread, as we have already said, all over the Mediterranean, mainly in Spain (Baleares, Cataluña, Alicante, Murcia, Almería and The Canary Islands), but little by little, The man, the fishermen’s greed, who could see their fish shoals threatened, and the boom of tourism took this species to more and more hidden areas, and nowadays, as Spanish specimens, the only ones left are in Chafarinas Islands (Spanish colony in the Alboran Sea, to the west of Melilla).

In the rest of The Mediterranean and the Atlantic the number of these specimens has deeply declined to worrying figures, 500 specimens in the whole world, so this is one of the most endangered species in the whole planet.

Breeding
The colonies of Monk seals are led by large male adults. They usually breed in hidden caves not to be disturbed during the ten-month pregnancy, giving birth to just one seal pup that depends entirely on her for three months.

Food and habits
They live an average of 20 years, reaching their sexual maturity when they are 4. They live peacefully in herds and they don’t usually go far away from the coast but to forage for food. They eat fish and molluscs, mainly during the night. Their habit to look for food in the fishermen’s nets has turned fishermen into their enemies, and they have been chasing seals for years, which is the main reason for their having become now an endangered species.

Present Distribution
At present the biggest colony of Monk seals, discovered in 1945, is found in the Cabo Blanco Peninsula (boundary between Mauritania and Western Sahara), with 250 specimens out of the 500 in the whole world, which makes the situation even more dangerous for this species in case the area were affected by any anomalies that could end with a great deal of them being located in the same area (for example, being attacked by toxins, as it already happened in 1977). There is another colony in Madeira.

The reasons we have mentioned above make the extinction of this species an imminent event which several projects of recovery are trying to stop.

In our next article we will talk about projects of reintroduction, promoted by the General Direction of Nature Conservation in the Ministry of Environment and the Regional Environment Vice-Ministry from the Canary Islands, which is trying to reintroduce this species in the Spanish fauna through The Island.

 FuerteCharter’s Team 

Los Sebadales: life in the sandy seabed

In our FuerteCharter daily routes, with trips from Corralejo, we go through an area of interest as a marine ecosystem: “Los Sebadales” in Corralejo.

Fuerteventura is the island in the archipelago having the largest number of fine golden sand beaches, and this is why it’s known as “La playa de Canarias”. These extensive sandy areas, partly submerged, give place to the meadows of marine phanerogams — similar to the grass— but unlike seaweed they have roots  (a great deal of them, so as to anchor to the sandy soil), stems and leaves.

Marine phanerogams need a salinity ranging from the 30% to the 37%, receiving the necessary light radiation to conduct photosynthesis (which is why they are located between the intertidal area and the 60m bellow the surface when the waters are clean and clear), be anchored to a substratum of quality and be surrounded by clear nutrient-rich waters.

Out of the 66 species of marine phanerogams spread all over the world, in The Canary Islands we have 4 of them, Cymodocea nodosa, popularly known as “seba”, standing out. Etymologically, Cimódoce was one of the sea nymphs in the Greek mythology, and nodosa makes reference to the presence of knots.

Distribution
The meadows of C.nodosa, “sebadales” or “manchones” are mainly located in the most protected bays in the East, South East, South and South West, in Fuerteventura as well as in the rest of the islands. They predominate in the oriental islands, which are older and further eroded, so they have the best sandy soil.

Due to the seasonality of the vegetative growth, “los sebadales” look different depending on the season of the year. The average peak values, regarding density of feet, height, number of leaves and coverage are reached in Spring and Summer, showing more foliage and a deep green colour.

Morphology and anatomy
“La seba” is an herbaceous perennial plant, with a rugged stem (rhizome) featuring knots from where leaves sprout upwards and the roots downwards. In the ancient times the stems were chewed, as they had a sweet flavour and they were called “reveriñas”.

The leaves are long (10-70 cm) and narrow (4mm), grouped in 2 or 4 beams, being able to reach the 10 beams.

The elongation of the rhizome parallel to the soil allows the plant to spread very quickly in the case of “la seba”, being able to form a meadow in just one year.

This would be a plagiotropic growth, but orthotropic or vertical growth can also take place, helping the meadows keep their leaves over the soil when, after a storm, a great deal of sediment has covered “los sebadales” at the bottom. Thanks to this kind of growth the leaves emerge again from the sedimentary surface.

Reproduction
Like other marine phanerogams, “la seba” can reproduce itself sexually, forming flowers, fruits and seeds,  or in an asexual way (cloning) by elongating their rhizomes and forming new beams with identical genetic information.

The importance of “los sebadales”
–  They provide food and shelter to many species, being a very rich habitat in biodiversity: seaweeds (up to 53 species), fish, cuttlefish, worms, seashells, crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms… sometimes they are even visited by our dear loggerhead turtle. They are also a laying site for many of these species, and they are considered as marine nurseries, where juvenile and restocking fish are bred.

–  They generate oxygen and a great deal of biomass thanks to the photosynthesis.

–  They play and important role in recycling nutrients: they catch and produce debris and excrete dissolved organic matter.

–  They cushion the impact of the swell and the ocean currents on the seabed, thus preventing coastal erosion as they keep the sediments thanks to their roots and rhizomes.

– They improve the quality of the water, increasing its water transparency and behaving like a biological indicator of the high degree of preservation of the coastline, that is, they ensure the best waters to bathe in.

“Los sebadales” are very sensitive plants and as we have already said they need particular environmental features in order to develop. When they change and they reach values that exceed their tolerance range the plants suffer from environmental stress; if the changes remain or intensify they can deteriorate and even die, which makes meadows disappear. When they disappear, so do the services they provide like productivity, biodiversity and preservation of the coastline. So it is up to us to preserve these environmental features as stable as possible.

With our trips from Corralejo we try to show our visitors the charms of this paradise and inform them about the fauna and flora that inhabit this biodiversity-rich corner of the planet.

FuerteCharter‘s Team.

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Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta)

The Loggerhead Turtle or Caretta caretta is one of the 7 species of sea turtles spreading in warm, tropical and subtropical water oceans in the world, and one of the exceptional visitors of our coasts which we sometimes are lucky to come across in our trips from Corralejo to the islet of Lobos.

Sea turtles are prehistoric reptiles which date back 200 million years according to   some fossil records, although the species we know nowadays just date back 10-60 million years. They outlived their neighbours, the big dinosaurs.
Their main characteristic, common to all the sea turtle species, is the presence of a bony shell, formed by a carapace — upper part— and a ventral shell —lower part— covering all the guts very effectively, leaving enough room to let the head, extremities and tail out. These huge sea reptiles are well adapted to living in the sea (some male specimens can spend hours under water), but they keep needing air to breath and land in the breeding season.
The Loggerhead turtle or Caretta Caretta, also known as “Caguama” turtle, got this name due to the large size of its head, as compared to the rest of sea turtles.

Distribution
They spend most of their life in the sea, in surface waters near the coast, around 13,3º and 28º.
Caretta caretta is the most cosmopolitan of all the sea turtles, and it’s spread all over the Atlantic, Indian, Pacific Oceans and the Mediterranean Sea, with a highest representation in the Southeast Coast of Northern America (Florida is the site where you can find the highest number of nests, more than 67.000 per year) followed by the coast of the Arabian Peninsula in the Indian Ocean, and the Western Coast of Australia.
In the Canary Islands, it’s the most relevant species we have and find all through the year, being mainly abundant in Spring and Summer. And as we have already said, sometimes it’s an exceptional travel companion in our boat trips from Corralejo.

Family
Although there aren’t many data about sea turtles in general, as they are long-lived species with a very complex life-cycle, it’s known that Caretta caretta belongs to the Cheloniidae family, which dates back 40 million years. This family is shared by 5 more species: The Ridley turtle, The Olive Ridley turtle, The Hawksbill turtle, The Flatback sea turtle and the Green sea turtle; most of them are endangered species.

Morphology and identification
The Loggerhead turtle features the biggest hard shell of all the species (70-95cms.) Adult male specimens weigh among 80-200kgs, although there are records of 500kg specimens, and longer than 200cms.
It’s usually brown, with reddish shades, and a yellow hue is most common in edges and the ventral shell.
It features tear glands, behind the eyes, through which it gets rid of the excess salt they ingest when swallowing sea water. This makes it look, when it’s on earth, as if it were crying.
In young specimens it’s impossible to distinguish the sex through their external appearance. Adults feature some differences: males have a bigger head, longer tails and claws, shorter ventral shell and less curved carapace than females’.
They are omnivorous and they feed specially on marine invertebrates, but they also have strong jaws which allow them to crush crabs and molluscs.

Breeding
One characteristic of this species, which keeps it bound to the land, is the need of females to approach the coast in order to dig their nests and lay their eggs there. It’s a species with a low breeding rate, as females apart from reaching their sexual maturity between the 17 and 33 years (they live between 47 and 67 years) they only lay eggs every two or three years. Moreover, out of all the eggs that hatch very few of them become adults.
For this reason, apart from the fact that many nesting beaches have disappeared, that many specimens die entangled in fishing gears, strangled in trawls, caught in plastic waste…, the Loggerhead turtle is considered an endangered species.

Fuertecharter-trips from corralejo

“El Proyecto Tortuga” exists In Fuerteventura since the year 2009, trying to reintroduce in The Islands a species that disappeared from our coasts 300 years ago by translocating Loggerhead’s eggs from Cape Verd.
The beach in charge of taking in these nests is “La Playa de Cofete”, in the South of the Island. The first year more than 500 turtles were born, which proved the excellent conditions of this beach to carry out such a project.
In our next article we’ll discuss this project in detail, a project which tries to contribute to the preservation of this species at a global level

FuerteCharter’s Team.

The houseleek in Lobos

If you are one of our island’s visitors you have thousands of ways to find out this wonderful paradise, but if you are a nature lover and its exclusive eccentricities, you can’t miss our trips from Corralejo to the islet of Lobos to watch some endemic species you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the world.

The Natural Park in the islet of Lobos is a paradise of a great biodiversity, where we can find endless endemic species from the Canary Islands. But if there is one that defines them better than any other else this is the houseleek in Lobos, or “Siempreviva de Laguna”, whose scientific name is Limonium ovalifolium ssp Canariensis, which you can only find in this islet. Limonium ovalifolium ssp Canariensis is a little herbaceous plant with a lax open leaf rosette made of egg-shaped very dense ribbed hairless leaves featuring dense spikes, more than 10 per centimetre, with 3 to 5 white flowers, small conical calyx and a jazzy blue leaf blade.

When it grows it forms big grass-like prairies. It is hermaphroditic and it seems to be apomictic, that is, asexual, it reproduces from unfertilised seeds spread by the calyx itself, causing a parachute effect. It blooms in April and September, and it reproduces in May and October. It’s a halophila species (living in environments with a high presence of salts), growing on a clay layer facing East. It’s spread along the whole salt marsh (sand bank and lagoon areas) in the east coast of the islet, and it’s abundant in the wettest areas. Every four weeks approximately it stays flooded for some hours, sometimes even for days.

There are records that this species also existed in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, but at present, as we were saying, it only exists in the islet of Lobos, after having become extinct in these two islands. They take up approximately 18.000 m2, and they are estimated at around 103.512 specimens.

This endemic species is at risk of extinction. As its habitat is so reduced, any natural disaster or man intervention could bring it to an end immediately. For this reason, in the Natural Park of Lobos —known as ZEPA (special bird protection area), IBA (important area for birds) and LIC (common interest area)— there is surveillance and also restricted areas, as the simple fact of walking outside the paths could bring this species to an end. So, if you are one of our visitors, please, take special care with the instructions in the Natural Park.

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So as to avoid its becoming extinct, in “El Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo” the experts cultivate this taxon in a controlled way, they keep the seeds and study their reproductive biology and genetic diversity so as to stop their extinction.

FuerteCharter‘s Team

Taifas dances: Canary Islands’ tradition

It’s one of our objectives in FuerteCharter to show the tourists who visit us the culture and traditions of our island, Fuerteventura, as apart from the wonderful boat trips we offer from Corralejo this island has many other things to be discovered.

And this time we’ll talk about the Taifas dances, which in ancient times were danced in the whole archipelago and that, at present, has remained as a tradition linked to the Canary Islands’ culture. For example, the big Taifas dances were celebrated on the night of the 29th May, the eve of the Canary Islands’ day, a date that commemorates the constitution of the first autonomic Canary Islands’ Parliament in 1983.

According to the “Academia Canaria de la Lengua”:
TAIFA:
1. In some traditional dances celebrated in small venues, a series of couples who danced in turns and times, following the directions of a person in charge of complaying with the rules, such as the order of participation. After a “taifa” danced an “isa”, a “folia” and a “malagueña” it was the turn of another “taifa”.
2. Admission paid to take part in such dance.

Taifas dances weren’t a concrete dance, but a musical event that used to take place on special occasions to celebrate a birth (then they were called new mothers’ dances), when shucking and grinding corn (in order to make “gofio”) and also in special dates such as carnivals. They were, most of all, an act of social integration, mainly in an island such as Fuerteventura, where long distances often made it hard for people living in different towns to relate to one another.

Taifas dances were not held in large spaces but they used to be held in private houses where hardly 5 couples could dance in the hall, from where furniture had been previously removed. Generally, women were waiting on chairs in the hall, while men met outside the house, where the host offered “pizcos” (which today would be known as “shots”) to the attendees. They used to be parties where the attendees where looking for a partner, and men had to persuade the family of the woman they wanted to win.

The way to ask for a woman’s hand was to give the desired woman and her mother a little bag of cumin or any other spices, or a little candle. As they were courtship dances it wasn’t unusual of them to finish with any kind of quarrels, either caused by alcohol consumption or just fighting for a woman.

Sometimes, as read in the definition, a “taifa” was also charged as an admission to the participants, and if admission was free then the participants used to bring a gift for the host family, so the taifas dances were positive for the family economy.

In other islands, such as La Palma or Lanzarote, these musical events were known as oil lamp dances because they were lit up by oil lamps, and in Tenerife and El Hierro they were called string dances, as string instruments were played to accompany the dances. The instruments they used in these dances were the guitar, the “timple” and the “bandurria” (lute-type instrument), rarely the violin. And the music pieces that were danced were “isas”, “folías”, “seguidillas”, and “malagueñas”. Little by little a range of options opened and in the XIX century “polcas” and “mazurcas” were introduced. At the beginning of the XX century, “pasodobles”, fox-trot, “valses” and even “rumbas” were also danced, which is why the participant instruments were also changing.

Nowadays, in Fuerteventura we are ready for the XIV event of the Big Taifas Dance on the 29th May. From the 22nd April and up to the 16th May table bookings for this great event are open, one more year to be celebrated in Avenida Marítima in Puerto del Rosario.

To attend this event it’s necessary to wear the traditional Canary Island clothes, as a way to pay homage to the Islands’ ethnography and history.

FuerteCharter’s Team

 

MIRADOS DE LOBOS GOLF RESORT, CORRALEJO

The tourist accommodation offer in Corralejo is wide and varied. On this occasion we’re going to find out Lobos golf lookout point, located in Corralejo and offering another accommodation alternative, with the hallmark of being detached, at the outskirts of the town. Of course you don’t need to be a golf player to go to this resort, on the contrary, the offer is so good that many tourists chose this accommodation option in our little paradise. On this occasion we talked to one of the receptionists, Carolina, who let us get into these beautiful villas.

  • Name and position: Carolina, receptionist.
    Start date: November 2012.
    
Kind of accommodation: Detached villas, framed within a golf course.
    Number of beds: 60 villas with 3 rooms (6 beds).
    Average age of tourists: it’s difficult to establish an average as the tourism coming here is very diverse, families as well as groups of friends of diverse age.
    Offer: Two different kinds of villas, with a single floor or duplex. All of them have a garden, private swimming pool, parking, barbecue… they also offer bed and breakfast.
    Average price: 70-90 € per night/villa in low season, and between 110-140€ in high season.
    
Nationality of most customers: depending on the season, but from every country. Those days we are having lots of Canarian tourists (Spanish), as well as Italian and German… a bit of everything.

Your opinion about the quality of the tourism getting to the island:

It’s a tourism that appreciates our island very much, and often enjoys our leisure offers.
Of course, in the high season they usually come from a higher social status and they can afford investing more money in leisure and holidays.

How could the island improve so as to bind tourism?  

By completing unfinished works, mainly in Corralejo. It would also be important to look for environmental improvements, focused on renewable energies; from the tourist point of view this would create a concept that fits Fuerteventura perfectly.

What turns this island into a privileged place to spend your holidays?
We are in the middle of the ocean, but protected by the African continent and the islands surrounding us. Our sea, the sun…. that is, weather conditions are unbeatable. This turns us into the perfect place to practise outdoor activities and sports, water sports of all sorts. Besides, our fine sandy beaches… we are a perfect destination for the tourism looking for sun, beach and activities.
Main strong points of your hotel offer
Our villas, apart from being very beautiful, are located within a golf course, so they are surrounded by vegetation, a gorgeous landscape. The most important thing is that they are big, private, intimate and quiet. Being just 15 minutes away from downtown Corralejo, you can enjoy the comforts of the town without losing the quietness and privacy we have in our villas.

Do you offer your customers leisure offers not linked to the hotel?
 Yes, we offer surf lessons, boat trips…. we like to offer all kind of options to our customers.

Do they usually request boat tours around Fuerteventura?

Yes, they do. And they are usually delighted when they come back.

Expansion of Corralejo’s Harbour

Last April 5th the project for the expansion of Corralejo’s Harbour was presented in the Municipal Auditorium. According to the statistics of the Canary Island Government, this harbour gets the largest number of visitors in all the islands, even outnumbering those in Playa Blanca, Morro Jable and Agaete.
The figures in the year 2013 record 912.174 passengers (853.886 through regular line and 58.288 on day trips) and 212.227 vehicles (167.078 cars and 45.149 industrial vehicles)
The conditions of this harbour at present do not fulfill the present demand, as there isn’t enough room for all the boats that need it —there is a long waiting list of boats looking for berth—, it lacks appropriate lighting and a petrol station where boats can refuel, with all the risks that transporting jerry cans with fuel entails.
Moreover, it doesn’t count on a dry-dock to clean and repair the boats.
It seems that all these deficiencies will be sorted out by the implementation of this project by the “Plan de puertos de la Comunidad Autónoma”, which represents a running cost of 40 million Euros and that the Canary Island Government has declared as of exceptional public interest.
The aim is to provide Corralejo with a large berth marina living up to expectations, so that water and leisure activities can be enhanced, such as boat trips to Lanzarote or to the islet of Lobos, while modernizing the facilities for traditional fisheries. All this will mean a new attraction to some visitors looking for a different tourism —such as water tourism— instead of the mass sun and beach tourism.
Among the reforms to be implemented at Corralejo’s Harbour we must highlight the restoration of berths for the ships that communicate our island to the neighbour Lanzarote (Playa Blanca) and also very important to highlight the creation of a new additional marina, which will be located to the North of the present harbour.
The environmental impact assessment has taken particular care of the design of the new dock so as not to interfere with the wonderful views of the islet of Lobos and Lanzarote, paying maximum respect for the surrounding landscape.
The expansion, in figures, will mean 38.900m2 of earth surface, that added to the existing ones will become 68.900m2, and the expansion in the surface of sheltered water will reach 68.900m2, 14.000m2 of which will be developed as commercial harbour, 55.700m2 as marina (with 767 berths) and 125.000m2 as outer dock.
The license of the petrol station has been awarded, for 15 years, to Domofuture Green Alliance, which will need an estimated capital outlay of 750.000€ and will have to supply fuel to fishermen at subsidised prices plus one cent, and to recreational boats at the stipulated price by the “Ley de Tasas del Gobierno de Canarias” plus two cents of Euro.

This project was registered by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment  on 12th August 2013, after being approved in the environmental impact statement on the 27th May by the Commission on Land management and Environment in the Canary Islands— a long process whose study considered 15 different alternatives and institutional environmental queries—and it was drawn up by the consulting company Viatrio Ingenieros S.L.
Right now it’s awaiting to be passed and assigned in the Matitine-Terrestrial public Domain.

 FuerteCharter Team.

Fuerteventura, leading position in tourism

Fuerteventura has been nominated by TripAdvisor, the largest internet portal specialised in tourism, as the best island in Spain, followed by Lanzarote, for the “Travellers Choice 2014” awards.
Also, the same internet portal awarded Cofete Beach, in the south of the island, the fifth position among the best Spanish beaches; El Cotillo beach, in the municipality of La Oliva, was awarded the 10th position.
If we bear in mind that a few months ago the prizes awarded by this portal have placed Corralejo as the leading emergent tourist destination in Europe, and that El Cotillo has reached the fourth position in Spain we don’t have but to congratulate ourselves, the majorero land and its residents, who make these realities possible by treating tourists well.
These awards are the result of the tourists’ opinions and the comments and ratings they leave about their experiences.
In Fuertecharter we try to contribute in so far as we are actually able so that our visitors are satisfied, and our boat trips from Corralejo always get excellent comments and ratings in TripAdvisor.
These ratings that our island is getting place us in a very good position we must keep and improve if possible.
The studies reflect in their data a leading position of Spain as far as tourism is concerned, whose activity accounts for over 10% GDP, creates the 11% of job positions and offsets to a great extent our trade deficit. In The Canary Islands those percentages are much larger, as tourism is the main industry.
The “Ley de Renovación y Modernización turística de Canarias”, passed in May 2013, attempts to improve competitiveness in the Canary Islands as a tourist destination, to refurbish tourist areas, facilities and services in decline due to the passage of time, so as to match the tourist offer to the present demand. Straight from the BOE, here you find the main guidelines of this law:
a) Order and regulate, within sustainable parameters, the increase of the tourist demand, linked to the improvement of the existing tourist centres and the introduction of new additional facilities.
b) Improve the quality and standard of the tourist accommodation and additional facilities.
c) Avoid and, where appropriate, redirect the building in tourist areas.
d) To provide the administration with effective legal tools to encourage and, where appropriate, ensure compliance with conservation and restoration measures, and the effective use of tourist establishments.
e) To improve the image of consolidated tourist centres, and achieve satisfactory public services.
f) To encourage coordinated management of public administrations and to speed up the processing of tourist redevelopment projects.

With these measures and keeping treating visitors with kid gloves no doubt Fuerteventura will keep and even improve these data launched by TripAdvisor. We’ll keep doing our bit with our wonderful trips from Corralejo.

FuerteCharter Team.

II Photographic contest Fuertecharter; take part in it with your photos of the ANIMALS in our island and win trips in Corralejo.

In this second FuerteCharter APRIL photographic contest we keep wanting to give our fans trips in Corralejo; for this reason, the most voted photograph in Facebook this month, out of all the ones we get, will be the winner of one of our sea trips (a ticket for two people).

With the aim of spreading the beauty of our island and creating a photo gallery that everybody can enjoy, we are organizing this second contest, and you can send us photos of animals taken in Fuerteventura via Facebook or e-mail to marketing@fuertecharter.com. We will create a Facebook page with all the pictures you send so that our fans can vote their favourite ones, and at the end of the month the photo getting the most “I like it” will be the winner of one of our wonderful trips for two people in Corralejo. An unforgettable boat trip.
At the end of the month we will upload the photos in our blog, as a photo gallery, so that everybody can know the beauty of the animals in our island.
Then we will also contact the winner so he/she can enjoy their present whenever it suits them better, taking our availability into account.

We are looking forward to getting your view of our sea paradise.
Thanks for taking part in it and good luck!

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