Mosquito control on the Mediterranean coast
In June 1963, France created the Interdepartmental Committee for Tourist Development for the Coastal Area of the Languedoc-Roussillon region, which was chaired by Pierre Racine. This was followed by the creation of eight seaside resorts that could house up to a million tourists. But tourists and mosquitoes do not get along very well, and the Interdepartmental Alliance for Mosquito Control (Mediterranean EID), a public body, was created in order to monitor the nuisance. Mosquito control “for reasons of comfort” with unprecedented spraying in terms of area and frequency was implemented in 5 departments and 210 municipalities covering 300,000 ha.
Was the Camargue spared?
At this time, the exceptional biodiversity of the Camargue wetland zones was already recognised and they were protected by various national and international laws. The Camargue was not included in the development project and mosquito control was not carried out there by the EID. However, tourist agents or other private parties sprayed on a regular basis with no authorisation, using all kinds of products, of which the impact on the non-targeted fauna (other than mosquitoes) was very significant locally.