Balearic Islands: Be Aware of the Posidonia LIFE Project if wanting to anchor.

The drive to protect Seagrass (Posidonia) is making cruising Mallorca (Balearics) at anchor in particular very difficult and this report highlights some of the problems encountered.

Published 6 years ago, updated 5 years ago

Feedback Received 27 August, 2017


You are not allowed to anchor anywhere where there is sea grass where your anchor or your chain touches it. The “Posidonia police” come along and inspect your anchor then tell you to move on, even if your own dive onto your anchor showed no weed present. This is ANYWHERE. So if you drop into a cala or anchor off a beach (e.g. Cala Carogol) they will turn up and turf you off, even where they have not yet laid buoys.

Others have mentioned the price of moorings (Euro 50-100)and the fact you have to book them in advance by phone talking to someone whose English is about as good as my Spanish.

Makes you feel very unwelcome – we shall move on next season.


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.

Tony Boas

SY Ione


The Government of the Balearic Islands, through its Ministry of the Environment, have established a project to protect the prairies of Posidonia (seagrass) 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 ( 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 seagrass areas. There also exists a Balearic Government notice saying that these areas will be patrolled, and yachts found anchored on seagrass 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 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 seagrass 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 –

Customer Service Telephone Number – (0034) 902 422 425

Our thanks to the Cruising Association ( and Jim Baerselman ( for providing information for this report.

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  1. November 22, 2018 at 8:12 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    We were anchoring in Cala Las Salinas, nearby Eivissa city. Our anchor chain touched the Posidonia (We were not aware).

    We left the boat for a few hours to visit the town, upon return we immediately were visited by the Posidonia Police who wanted to give us a fine of €3000,- for touching the Posidonia. It took me quite a bit of convincing talks to talk them out of fining us.

    Thus better be warned to stay out of the Posidonia and anchor nearby the (ridiculously expensive) mooring area. Police are very active in this area. Hanjo Huizing S/Y Passion