The Sierra Helada Natural Park which straddles Benidorm and Altea is now three years old and continues to grow in importance. This year it has a budget of 1.3 million euros and part of this will be used to purchase new submarine listening equipment.
This will enable the park's staff to detect whales, porpoises and dolphins as they enter its boundaries (part of it is on land but the vast majority is underwater) by their high pitched chatter. The staff are pleased that these undersea mammals are now returning to the area in much greater numbers than before.
Another benefit of the listening equipment will be to find turtles that have become trapped in fishermen's nets, one of the main causes of the decline in turtle numbers in the Mediterranean.
Its success underwater has been matched on land too as over 140,000 visitors flocked to the park last year, of which 40,000 went by boat, making it the most popular in the Valencia area!