Balearic Islands: Be Aware of the Posidonia LIFE Project if wanting to anchor.
UPDATE RECEIVED 20 JUNE 2012
The Posidonia website is accepting bookings from 1 June 2012.
Our booking for 4 June at Espalmador, Ibiza was accepted but we found that no buoys had been laid.
Both our bookings for San Telmo, Mallorca on 14 June and Punta de la Avenzada near Pollensa on 19 June were both accepted and we found buoys laid in both cases. The buoys appear very strong, well maintained and with the sinkers well bedded in.
REPORT POSTED 30 APRIL 2012
The Government of the Balearic Islands, through its Ministry of the Evironment, have established a project to protect the prairies of Posidonia (sea grass) around the islands. They have established reserves in the following areas (clearly visible on the website):
Cala Blava, Porto Petro, Punta de l´Avançada, Sa Dragonera/Sant Elm
Cala Fornells, Illa den Colom
Caló de s´Oli, Ses Salines, S´Espalmador
Many buoys on these reserves were removed last year (2011) as a result of budget cuts, and therefore anchoring was allowed in restricted areas. The project's website (http://www.balearslifeposidonia.eu/index.php) which defines Posidonia reserves and states how they will be managed, also outlines the procedure and policing for visiting when there are no buoys.
The Cruising Association told noonsite; "the website was informing yachtsmen they can anchor in areas where buoys should have been, provided they avoid sea grass areas. There also exists a Balearic Government notice saying that these areas will be patrolled, and yachts found anchored on sea grass will be fined".
The project's website states, "yachts are only allowed to anchor on a sandy area in order to avoid damage of the plant with the anchor and the chain".
Whilst the project's website does not mention fines for infringements of the rules, noonsite has been told by a cruiser based out of Port Soller on the NW of Mallorca, that fines of 80-90 Euros are being incurred, with further fines of 1000 Euros and over for repeat offences.
The season officially runs from 1 June and 30 September. Having spoken to Customer Service for the project today, they are currently unsure if some/all of the mooring buoys will be placed this year, and once again, if anchoring will or will not be permitted in the reserves.
If intending to visit any of the bays that are a part of Project Posidonia during the season, it is recommended yachts make advance reservations for a mooring buoy via the website. This can be done from 20 to 1 day before arrival. Go to http://www.balearslifeposidonia.eu/ for further information. Yachts that just "turn up" on the off chance there will be a buoy free, need to liaise with the surveillance boat on station to see what is available.
Out of season, be sure to look for a sandy area to anchor in, in order to avoid damage to any sea grass and possible fines.
Note that bookings for mooring buoys are only possible for a maximum of two consecutive nights every six days. It is likely therefore that anchoring is only permitted for the same length of time.
Posidonia Project Website - www.balearslifeposidonia.eu
Customer Service Telephone Number - (0034) 902 422 425