STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
TWO fishery officers are to protect the marine reserves in the islands of Toro and Malgrats.
The Balearic Department of Fisheries announced the measure over the last few days.
Since 2004, these two islands off the Calvia coast have been protected zones but until now there has been no protection measures in place.
The two officers will operate off the islands in a dinghy.
The Director General of Fisheries, Patricia Arbona, said that the measures were sufficient, as the reserves were small and in close proximity.
She said that the two-member team would be in contact with another team in the Bay of Palma, so as to optimise resources. Arbona said that though the marine reserves had been created four years ago, they had never worked “100 percent” because there were no protection measures in place.

She added that though the reserves were small they were of much interest. and were of great environmental importance.
Among the sedentary species that stand out is the grouper. There are also important rocky areas with large caves.
Arbona praised the efforts of local diving centres to alert the authorities to irregular activities taking place in the area so that they could take action before any damage was done.

However, despite the best efforts of the diving centres, she added, it was important to have a full-time, equipped team on watch in the area.