Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
The global site for cruising sailors
Sections
You are here: Home / Countries / Spain / Western Mediterranean Cruising: Potentially bad news for the Balearic Islands

Western Mediterranean Cruising: Potentially bad news for the Balearic Islands

By Sue Richards last modified Jun 20, 2016 10:35 AM
Contributors: Nick Ellis & Gaceta Nautica
If you are planning on cruising the Balearics, keep an eye on local press and be aware that anchoring in this part of the Med could be severely restricted in the future if recent Government proposals are implemented. Our thanks to Nick Ellis of SV Onaway for bringing this news to noonsite’s attention.

Published: 2016-06-15 23:00:00
Countries: Spain

Western Mediterranean Cruising: Potentially bad news for the Balearic Islands

Espalmador - courtesy of SY Onaway

A short extract from an article published February 2016 in the Mallorca Press – Gaceta Nautica.

The “secret” plan to privatize the Balearic Sea

A project commissioned by the Ministry of Environment plans to create 33 berths with 1,228 buoys and "close down" 22 coves

Under the pretext that it’s good for the Environment (more specifically the protection of oceanic posidonia) the Balearic Islands Government have proposed an ambitious and lucrative project to transform the coves and natural shelters across the archipelago into fields of mooring buoys for which users will have to pay a charge.

“This would mean the end of free funding and would have dire consequences for the development of nautical tourism" said José María Jiménez, president of the Balearic Association of Charter Companies. “The  environment (has been) turned into the "perfect alibi" “.

See the full online article (in Spanish) at http://www.diarioderegatas.es/index.php?contenido_servicio_tabla=template_noticia_detalle&contenido_idnoticia=4370&col2_categoria=7

The article describes the Government’s intention to resurrect a study done in 2010 proposing the positioning of buoys at 33 sites in the Balearics and closing 22 calas (bays) to anchoring all together.

The local boating industry are very much against the proposals, suggesting that the Government are seeking to blame small boat anchoring for the reduction in posidonia, rather than a multitude of other factors.

Proposed closures to anchoring are:

MALLORCA
11 new regulated bays (485 buoys)
To include Puerto Portals, Magaluf,  Illetas, Cala Mondragó, Pollença, Camp de Mar, Andratx, Portals Vells, Santa Ponsa and Sóller.

IBIZA & FORMENTERA
13 new regulated bays (481 buoys)
To include Puerto de San Miguel, Portinatx, Tagomago, Cala San Vincente, Cala Pada, Cala Moli, Conejera Island, Cala Bassa, Sant Antoni Abad, Trocador, Rocabella and Cala Saona Estany des Peix.

MENORCA
9 new regulated bays (262 buoys)
To include Algairens, Cala Pregonda, Cala Caldés, Es Grau, Arenal den Castell, Addaia, Island Air, Cala Mitjana and Cala Macarella.

Nick Ellis, a member himself of the Cruising Association (CA), has passed on this informed comment from the CA when questioned about these new proposals:

Successive Balearic Governments have for many years played around with the idea of completely controlling the whole of their coastline and the report of 2010 in this respect was prepared at their request by an authorised engineer. This report remained secret until discovered recently by the nautical press, and the Balearic Parliament debate of the 15th March last confirmed that it is still the official policy that yacht's anchors are the principal source of damage to Posidonia and that they should be controlled as outlined in the report.

The fact however that apart from the existing buoys, i.e. Posidonia system and Formentor, Porto Colom etc,, nothing has been done towards the new buoys/anchoring restrictions outlined by Nick Ellis, is mainly due to lack of funds, probably assisted by the political instability in Spain where many small parties share power without any one of them having a majority.

The very influential Association of Balearic Marine Enterprises dispute the anchor theory, which they say represents only a very small percentage of Posidonia damage and say that the Government is ignoring all the other factors involved in the said damage, such as the rise in sea temperature, beach regeneration, building works and dredging in harbours and marinas and the discharge of improperly purified sewage and general rubbish into the sea. (There are 124 marine sewage outfalls in the Balearics, said to be not up to standard). The Association claim that since it is the Government's responsibility (and cost) to keep the sea clean it may be convenient for them to put the blame upon anchors!

Other points which have arisen in this respect are;

1) Ports IB, well known to CA members through the Transit Quay system, have expressed the idea of taking over and re-organising the "illegal" anchoring and private mooring areas outside the ports of Pollensa, Andratx , Colonia de Sant Jordi & Puerto Portals, and

2) There is a planned "Es Trenc Natural Parc" where mooring will be to buoys " to avoid collisions between yachts". (What this means is not clear at present).

If and when all or part of this will happen remains to be seen.

Find out more about the Cruising Association at http://www.theca.org.uk/pub/

Share |
Satman
Satman says:
Jun 18, 2016 02:28 AM

I first dropped anchor in Formentera south of Ibiza 47 years ago. Not a single yacht in sight and the waters were pristine. I dived to 80 feet just off Ibiza harbour and could see the sea surface from the bottom and boats motoring across it, the sea floor into the distance and the the island rise up. We anchored free in Ibiza harbour and everywhere else we went and there was not a single Marina in Spain. How sad that the Balearics are so polluted now and that yachts are seen as cash cows only. Another place soon to be deleted from my cruising destinations list.

Countries
Albania
Algeria
American Samoa
Angola
Anguilla
Antarctica
Antigua & Barbuda
Argentina
Aruba
Ascension Island
Australia
Azores
BIOT (Chagos)
Bahamas
Bahrain
Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Bermuda
Bonaire
Bosnia
Bouvetoya
Brazil
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Canada
Canary Islands
Cape Verdes
Cayman Islands
Channel Islands
Chile
China
Christmas Island
Cocos Keeling
Colombia
Comoros
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cuba
Curacao
Cyprus
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic
East Timor (Timor Leste)
Easter Island
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Eritrea
Estonia
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
Fiji
Finland
France
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Subantarctic Territory
Galapagos
Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Gibraltar
Greece
Greenland
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Guam
Guatemala
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Hawaii
Heard, McDonald & Macquarie Islands
Honduras
Hong Kong
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Ivory Coast
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Juan Fernandez Islands
Kenya
Kiribati
Kuwait
Latvia
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Macau
Madagascar
Madeira
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Marion & Prince Edward Island
Marshall Islands
Martinique
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Mexico
Monaco
Montenegro
Montserrat
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar (Burma)
Namibia
Nauru
Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands
Nicaragua
Niue
Norfolk Island
Northern Marianas
Norway
Oman
Palau (Belau)
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Philippines
Pitcairn Island
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Reunion Island
Romania
Russia
Saba
Samoa
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Sint Maarten
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
South Korea
Spain
Spanish Virgin Islands
Sri Lanka
St Barts
St Helena
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Martin
St Pierre & Miquelon
St Vincent & the Grenadines
Statia
Subantarctic & Southern Ocean Islands
Sudan
Suriname
Sweden
Syria
Taiwan
Tanzania
Thailand
Tokelau
Tonga
Trinidad & Tobago
Tristan da Cunha
Tunisia
Turkey
Turks & Caicos
Tuvalu
US Virgin Islands
USA
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Vanuatu
Venezuela
Vietnam
Wallis and Futuna
Yemen
Add/Update Your Business
If you would like your business to be listed, or the details are wrong, please update your business