A new sight for visitors to Venice. According to reports received by the Natural History Museum and the City of Venice Observatory of the Lagoon, flying fish have now taken up residence in the surrounding waters, including the unlikely habitat of the industrial canals of Marghera and the Canal Salso at Mestre.
This summer, the lagoon also welcomed another unexpected visitor. A rare monk seal was seen several times swimming around Venice and Chioggia. Delighted Venetians christened it Pryntyl. There are only an estimated 500 monk seals left in the Mediterranean.
Gianfranco Bettin, Venice Councillor for the Environment, says that the phenomenon, added to the reappearance of the monk seal, is a clear indication of climate change that should be monitored carefully.
This month the first tests for the 5 billion Moses flood barriers were carried out. The mammoth project consists of 78 mobile barriers divided into four sections that will protect the city from being engulfed in extreme flood circumstances. Venice has sunk by 23 cms during the course of the 20th century. The barriers are not designed to stop the normal acqua alta lagoon water invasions that take place regularly several times a year. Construction on the costly Moses project began in 2003 after many years of planning and much controversy over conservation concerns. It is not expected to function until 2017.