That’s A Nice Reef Break You’ve Got There, Would Be A Shame If I Parked My Big Fucken Boat On It - Stab Mag
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Yes, it would be a shame. Photo by Manu Miguelez. Surfer, Lazi Rudegger.

That’s A Nice Reef Break You’ve Got There, Would Be A Shame If I Parked My Big Fucken Boat On It

Why a torched port expansion in the Canary Islands threatens waves, marine life, and surf tourism.

Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 3 minutes

I was hoping that cruise ships would die forever after COVID. 

Inescapable water-borne shopping malls filled with geriatrics, drunks and screaming children is its own special kind of hell, but apparently one that folks without taste buds or brain cells will pay good money for. 

There was a time in June last year when the Ruby Princess cruise ship was floating unmoored on the horizon beyond Bondi’s shoreline for several weeks. Passengers reported feeling like “hostages” unable to dock due to an onboard Rona outbreak. 

Isn’t that what you came for? 

Perhaps their prolonged stay nurtured a certain kind of Stockholm syndrome because the demand for cruise holidays is popping off once more, ships are cleaning up the muck left by their previous passengers, and even trying to expand ports to fit their new awful fleets. 

Surfing is good for you, cruise ships are not. Photo by Manu Miguelez

The latest proposed expansion is in the Canary Islands, and the port will forever ruin four waves, including Lobos, one of the longest and most impressive right point breaks in all of Europe. Rocky’s, another world-class reef that breaks in big swells. El Muelle left, meaning harbour left, a gentle, peeling burger, and another beginner surf spot inside the bay. 

In short, it’s fucking criminal, and locals and surfers will be waving (no pun intended) goodbye to their most precious places to accommodate some more oil-guzzling eyesores unless the proposal is scrapped. 

Manu Miguelez, a local photographer who lives in the Harbour of Corralejo where the proposal concerns, writes the following:

“This wave (header image) might end up being a myth of the past as the expansion of the Corralejo harbour will affect the ecosystem, currents and waves. The new commercial dock will be big enough to host cruise ships, known for being big polluters that threaten local marine ecology. 

El Muelle. Worth protecting. Photo by Manu Miguelez

In the Declaration of the Cabildo (Island Government) of 2019, they are recognized as natural heritage sites and natural sports facilities to be protected. The economic and environmental waste that the extension of the Corralejo port will entail, will cost more than 32 million euros and reduce the quality of the beaches and habitats of Corralejo Bay, in addition to promoting cruise access and a mass tourism model that is alien to the current climate emergency context.

This ‘predator’ project is located in a coastal town, which currently enjoys special environmental protection. The truth is not about the waves, it is about the future of ​our kids. The project threatens to destroy the already fragile balance of the area by multiplying maritime traffic, adding noise, chemical and waste pollution to an already over-exploited area that affects the whales, dolphins, sharks, and turtles in addition to townspeople and Canarian culture.”

Yeah, nah no thanks.

Currently, Manu and other residents are mobilizing a team of lawyers and spreading the word on social networks. “Soon we will demonstrate publicly to show our denial of this barbarity that threatens the biodiversity of the islands.”

Sign the petition here. It’s in Spanish but you’ll figure it out. 

And here are 21 reasons never to go on a cruise.