Beauty and the Beast: Rio Ebro vs Pollution

The following set of images show just how badly treated the Rio Ebro has been. Although still a beautiful spot from afar, up close it is a dirty, sorry looking place in need of serious restoration and cleaning.

Rio Ebro panorama.


Apparently the 'no fishing' sign is only there for decoration.



These signs greet you as you enter the port area. They warn you not to catch oysters and not to fish or swim in the Ebro.

Inside the port the ground is muddy and the water levels vary throughout the day depending on the Mequinenza Dam. Birds and plants seem to thrive although there is not much variety in the plant life.

Red Heather-like plants spread across the higher areas of the river bank.


These green plants seemed to thrive in small numbers along the river bank.

These aggressive looking thorns also dotted the shore in small numbers.

Apart from the birds and plants the rest of the picture looks very sad. It’s good to see some wildlife thriving by the Rio Ebro but the river itself has become quite ugly.

The trees by the water's edge are long dead.

Litter is also a major problem as fishermen completely disrespect  the environment by leaving nets, discarded food stuffs and other bizarre things in the mud, polluting the river further.

Those poor, tired fishermen couldn't quite manage to put that crate full of litter in the car and dispose of it at home.


Discarded nets are a danger to all kinds of wildlife.


Some fishermen crammed their litter into gaps in the rocks where it looks much neater. How thoughtful of them.

The impact on animal lie is evident too. Corpses of large fish a strewn about the shore; killed and not even eaten or put back. Such a waste of life.

This catfish corpse measured 1.5 metres.


My foot next to the dead catfish so you can get a sense of scale.


Crayfish, oysters and muscles also fall prey to wasteful fishermen.

The most obvious problem with the Rio Ebro is pollution. The next series of pictures give a good indication of just how toxic the river has become.

A panorama of the port at Camping Lake Caspe which shows pollution washing up on the shore.


Dirty foam creeps across the river surface.

The foam becomes a brown residue which clings to rocks, muscles and sand. It is very much like spray adhesive.

Waves of foam constantly move along the river and sticks to everything it touches.

White foam turns brown and smells disgusting.

Like some kind of industrial meringue the foam piles up on the river bank.


I’ve tried to take an objective view of the Rio Ebro but having seen the levels of pollution for myself it’s very hard to paint the situation in a positive light.

Please read my piece on possible causes of the pollution in the Rio Ebro or join the discussion on our forums by clicking here.

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