Growing concerns about pollution in balearic waters

The Prestige oil spill catastrophe in Galicia has put the spotlight on Spain's nautical industry as a whole and it appears that some regions fail to meet a wide range of international regulations. In the Balearics, which as the Bulletin published yesterday is a WWF oil-spill high risk zone, according to the Institute for Advanced Mediterranean Studies, an apparent lack of adequate facilities in marinas and the high density of recreational yachts during the summer, have led to areas of pollution, such as Portals, Mago bay and beach, Illetas, Cabrera and Freus in Ibiza In general, the quality of Balearics waters is good, especially when compared to other areas of the Mediterranean which handles some 300 million tonnes of crude per year and its witness to 60 maritime accidents a year, but in some key areas, yachting and busy marinas have led to high levels of contamination. One of the solutions is to ensure that all Balearics ports and marinas have the necessary facilities installed so yachts can dispose of their waste in accordance with international regulations. Obviously, if skippers are unable to dispose of their waste properly in port and their rubbish tanks are full, some form of action has to be taken. Environmental group Greenpeace has warned that there are a number of coastal areas of the Balearics under serious threat from over development and dense yachting communities in the summer Greenpeace has also warned that dredging off Banyalbufar is causing severe marine damage, as is the construction of Botafoc in Ibiza and the extension of Mahon airport so near the coast in Minorca. Grave concerns about the future of the Balearic coastline and water have been expressed unless tougher regulations are introduced and complied with.


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