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A FREE guide for the nautical sectors on environmental considerations has been published by the Balearic Environmental Group (GOB) and the Small and Medium Business Federation (PINEM), with the aim to keep the sea and beaches clean and free of rubbish.

The guide gives all yachtspeople and charterers advice on how to reduce, treat and recycle waste when they are at sea. So far, 1'500 paper copies and 900 CD copies have been published.

This guide forms part of the Ecopime project, which was established at the end of 2004. The objectives of this project are to reduce waste, save energy and develop natural resources in the Balearic Islands.

The initiative has a budget of 300'000 euros and has backing from the Biodiversity Foundation and the European Social Fund, and hopes to reach more than 15'000 people on the islands, particularly business owners, workers and self-employed people.

During a press conference, the President of the Balearic Nautical Business Association, Margarita Dahlberg, was positive that these guides would receive a warm welcome in the sector, as most sailors and people working in the nautical industry are very concerned about the environment. “The nautical sector can not afford to let the surrounding areas become dirty and polluted” since the environment is “their selling point”, she added.
A recent study has confirmed that the nautical industries are more aware of looking after and protecting the environment than other business sectors, said Magdelena Ribas, Director of the Ecopime project and a consultant for GOB.

Yachting companies suffer more when the beaches and seas become infested with dirt and rubbish. The mess not only affects their boats, such as the propellers, but also lessens the image of the Balearic Islands that their charter guests have, said Dahlberg. “It is a disaster to have rubbish in the sea” she added. It is true though that the nautical sector itself does not generate much rubbish, although some of their waste can be considered as dangerous and requires special treatment.

This guide is also available on the internet at the following address: www.ecopime.org.
Magdalena Ribas highlighted that this guide is the third that the European project has published. The first two were concerned with the markets and the food industry. All the information that is published by this project is free, said the GOB consultant.

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