Formentor | Dan Abbott

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2022 the Cape of Formentor. Immense, wild... and crowded. This is how Ramon, a farmer’s apprentice from Pollensa, describes the northernmost point of the island of Majorca. His first memory, however, is related to the boat trips to Cala Murta with his family. He remembers the clearest water, the cliffs that surrounded them and the pleasure of seeing an infinite number of small inlets on the shoreline.

When Ramon walks around the area, something attracts him to this land so close to the sea, that it is almost impossible not to love it just standing on it. To the question “How would you like this area to be in 20 years?”, Ramon answers that he would like to find the beaches clean and wild again. He would love to see vell marins, swimming along the shores, a species of seal that has been extinct in the Balearic Islands since the 1950s.

Under the sea

This species lived in the Balearic Sea together with humans for thousands of years, accompanying different cultures over time, from its quote in Homer’s Odyssey to Cousteau’s explorations. In fact, the famous French explorer talks about it in his book The Silent World.

Immense, wild... and crowded.

In recent years, Save The Med’s efforts to regenerate the marine ecosystems of the Balearic Islands have specifically focused, among other areas, on the Cape of Formentor, one of the places with the greatest potential for transformation into a healthy marine environment in the Tramuntana coastline. To date, the Save The Med MPA team have investigated 26 km of marine coastal ecosystems that run along the cape, from Punta Beca to the Formentor lighthouse.

Ramon is an example of the kind of person who drives us to act in the area. We collect his testimony because the Posidonia oceanica, the gorgonian forests or the more than 530 different species of fish cannot give us theirs. They report on the area, which today is suffering from significant degradation and a worrying lack of biodiversity.

The facts: in recent decades, the waters of the Formentor peninsula have experienced a significant decline in the species that are fished and an exponential increase in recreational use (boats, anchorages, etc.). However, despite the impacts and threats to the marine environment, the characteristics observed in these habitats indicate an enormous potential for their recovery. For this reason, the implementation of a programme that publicises and values these characteristics is key to their conservation.

This species lived in the Balearic Sea together with humans for thousands of years

The foundation will now continue the study of the area, through an innovative holistic vision of the management of the natural environment, involving activities that take place not only at sea but also on land. In turn, the focus will be on dialogue with the different stakeholders, as well as on the idiosyncrasy of the communities that live there.

Whilst Save the Med works toward regenerating the sea through a more holistic approach, this cannot be done without the caring and thoughtful communities that live here and without respect, kindness, and peace. Something that is sadly lacking for our friends in Ukraine and for whom we wish peace and prosperity and an instant end to their troubles. We would like to mention that the Ukrainian church in Arenal is collecting medication, food, blankets etc and driving them to the conflict. If you have anything you can spare, please deliver it to them there.

Formentor bay

If you would like further information on the Save the Med Formentor initiative please contact info@savethemed.org