Staff Reporter
THE 37 boats which the Balearic Environment ministry introduced to keep the beaches and inshore areas free of rubbish, collected a total of 57'239 kilos of waste material last month.

Minister Jaume Font emphasised yesterday, that rubbish accumulating on the beaches this year has been appreciably less than in 2003.
During the presentation of a report of the government's achievements under the Bathing Water Quality Plan from 1 to 30 June, Font detailed that of the total of material collected, 64.04 percent was made up of plastic materials, 12.96 percent was wooden debris, 8.93 percent was organic material, 4.75 percent was made up of floating weed and algae, and 0.99 percent was categorised as “other” waste material.

Analysed by territory, Majorca was the Island where most waste material was collected from the beaches and shorelines, with 35'928 kilogrammes obtained, above all, from the beaches located in Palma, Llucmajor, Campos and Ses Salines. In Minorca, 11'507 were trawled from Sant Lluís, Alaior and Es Migjorn; on Ibiza, 6'806 from Ibiza town, Sant Josep, Sant Antoni, Sant Joan and Santa Eulària; and from Formentera, 2'998 kilos.

The cleaning services of the Environment ministry also carried out special “missions” in the face of different environmental “emergencies”, including one on 11 June, when Sea Rescue Services alerted them to the appearance of a dolphin, some 5 metres in length near Cala Major; and on 23 June, when 3 surfers and a drifting catamaran had to be rescued. Furthermore, numerous floating tree trunks, which could have proved dangerous in navigation channels, were whisked out of the water.

Also helping in the fight against coastal pollution, the observation aircraft, “Milana”, has been making daily flights between Majorca, Minorca and Ibiza to keep a lookout for focal points of contamination floating in the sea. The aim is to alert coastal authorities and cleaning vessels, so that such waste can be swept up before it pollutes the coastline.

The aircraft service gave nearly 200 warning calls this June to the Quality Plan coordination centre.
Font claimed that in the Balearics, there are no beaches which are essentially dirtier than others. Their state, he purported, depends on weather conditions because the action of the wind can cause heavy wave action which drags waste material with it onto the beaches.

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