FOR the second year running there will be boats in action which will be responsible for collecting rubbish from the sea this summer.
These boats will start working as from tomorrow and will end on 30 September. This year the Balearic Government has added an extra four boats to the fleet which will patrol all the Balearic Islands. These four new boats will have clean-up duties based in Cala Galdana in Minorca, Sant Antoni in Ibiza, Alcudia Bay (between can Picafort and Betlem) and in Palma. This year's Plan for Quality Bathing Water was presented yesterday by the deputy leader of the Balearic Government, Rosa Estaras, and by the Ministers for the Environment and Tourism, Jaume Font and Joan Flaquer. This plan tackles the problems of the waste that is found each year floating in the sea, which not only draws complaints from tourists and residents alike, but is also dangerous for passing yachts. The Deputy leader said that the plan is fruit of the labour “between departments”, as the Ministries for the Environment and for Tourism are involved, as well as all the town councils, Maritime Services and the Guardia Civil. Last year was the first time this type of plan was carried out on the islands. During last summer the 37 boats collected 231 tonnes of rubbish, 138 tonnes from Majorca, 50 tonnes from Minorca, 30 in Ibiza and 13 in Formentera. The majority of waste collected was plastic goods (such as bottles and bags), followed by wood, organic waste and other types of objects, for example chairs, tyres and shoes. The clean-up boats will work from 7am until 2pm every day of the week. A plane will be carrying out aerial observations and informing the boats of any possible contaminated areas. The routes the boats will take will depend on the plane's information, as well as any warnings from town councils or individuals who spot a dirty area.
In total there will be 24 “Virot” type boats and 17 “Pelican” boats, which will be working between one and four miles from the coastline. Five “Pelican” boats and 1 “Virot” boat will only be operative from 1 July until 31 August. From the control centre, which is connected to the Maritime Services, Emergency Services and the town councils, the areas to be patrolled will be worked out. At this centre, the weather factors will also be observed and taken into account.