IT was interesting to see that Monitor has entered the discussion about artificial reefs. As a Naval Officer, I know that a monitor is an iron-clad ship, with revolving turrets. Not much good at speed, but being very heavy would certainly come to grief on a reef .... and make a good one. It must have been in the early sixties when I was serving in the Royal Naval Hospital in Gosport, that someone had the bright idea to put down an artificial reef off Hayling Island. At the time, no one knew what to do with mountains of used tyres. These would provide ideal homes for lobsters and lots of other fish. Unfortunately they silted up and were difficult to anchor due to the very strong currents at the site. The tyre reef only therefore provided temporary accommodation for sea tramps. Since time immemorial, sunken ships have provided an environment for denizens of the deep. Also, I imagine as I am not an engineer, that bridge supports, wharves and breakwaters, etcetera, do the same. One of the main initiatives in trying to save the fish population from extinction, is to ban unauthorised trawling, and illegal nets. Reefs are an excellent deterrent. We read in today's paper that a power line to an island near Ibiza has been destroyed by a trawler and that it will be very difficult to replace. Diving tourists are unimportant. The other factors mentioned definitely are. Well done TITANIC! Although I wish you had been empty at the time.
George Giri, Mancor del Valle
IT is that time of the year again, the rates are due. Each year I go up to Calvia in the blistering heat to wait in line to pay my council tax. I suppose I could pay through the bank with a direct debit and forget about it but the uncertainty of what may be taken out of my account has always put me off, so I wait in line. Last year I was amazed to find that the council tax had actually gone DOWN so imagine my surprise when I got to the front of the queue and the tax had gone DOWN AGAIN, less in 2005 than it was in 2003. I don't know how long they can keep going in this direction but I would like to congratulate Carlos Delgado and his team for keeping their promise and reducing the taxes the residents of Calvia have to pay.
Stephen Baggale, Calvia
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