THE Balearic Sailing Association has made application to Central Government's Coastal department for permission to start a pioneering project whereby association members can make free use of public mooring points in Formentor in exchange for an environmental clean up of the sea bed.

The Sailing Association said yesterday that the scheme could include other boating enthusiasts such as the yacht clubs Port de Pollensa and the Bonaire marina who have demonstrated over the past decade (pictured) against the fact that public moorings were exploited by a private company, Hisambla, known to have let abandoned or damaged vessels sink leading to marine pollution.

If the Coastal department, which controls management of the whole of Spain's coastline agrees, the project could start in July this year and if it proves successful could extend across the Balearics to include 500 mooring points currently managed by the Ministry for the Environment.

The Sailing Association originally put its request in last December for 40 buoys suited to anchoring large craft, explaining that small craft didn't need the facility and could merely pull up in shallow water.

The Association is meanwhile suggesting a temporary joint venture between Pollensa Town Council, the Pollensa Yacht Club, the Bonaire marina, and other mooring groups to finance the installation of the buoys.