FIVE companies are contributing thousands of euros to a study by Malaga University into the cause of large slicks appearing on the coastline across the Costa del Sol.
The problem, which was previously believed to be caused by red algae, has already seen one beach in Rincon de la Victoria temporarily closed and a €46.5 million fine from Europe over the potential risks to human and marine health.
The slick, which affects beaches in Estepona, Nerja, Alhaurin el Grande, Coin and San Pedro Alcantara, has seen politicians, conservation groups and fishermen debate over its possible cause and solution
Companies Emasa, Acosol and Axaragua, Hydralia and Aguas de Torremolinos are now stepping in to fund a study, paying between €9,900 and €21,000 each.
Manuel Cardena, CEO of Acosol, explained although the flotsam was initially believed to have been algae, “studies in Axarquia have shown a large proportion of it is made of something else and that the solid element of it is made almost exclusively from minerals such as kaolinite and ilite, along with detrital minerals such as quartz and calcite or halite.”
Meanwhile an existing study has showed any existing algae multiplies more easily in areas where sewage is present, including in Nerja where untreated waste is pumped out to sea.