STAFF REPORTER

CABRERA NATIONAL PARK
PARADISE is not a matter of chance, say the French, and indeed, even the peaceful natural land and marine park of Cabrera off the southern coast of Majorca needs a helping hand to keep it well maintained.

Park director Jorge Moreno reported yesterday that the overhaul of the living accommodation for workmen and military personnel on the island has been completed. Another task in need of addressing over the last few months has been the launch of an anti-rodent campaign as vermin had succeeded in proliferating in certain areas of the port. The matter has now been dealt with, said Moreno and claimed that the spread of vermin was most likely due to climatic conditions because during May and June this year, rainfall fell in abundance.

Cabrera National Park is one of the principal tourist attractions of Majorca. People with sailing craft are not allowed to go there and moor-up overnight without authorisation. Proof of the island's popularity is the high number of visitor applications. Nevertheless, between 1st January and 8th August this year, local authorities received 4'138 requests for permission to moor craft, 20.8 percent less than last year. Moreno claimed however, that it doesn't mean that there are less people anchoring during the day (as opposed to mooring-up overnight) around the island and visitor levels appear to be the same as last year. In fact, he added, August is completely booked. The director recognised though that the rains of May and June could have resulted in a lower level of applications to visit Cabrera for a day.

With regard to applications for taking sailing vessels to Cabrera, between 1st January and 8th August this year, 1'573 applications have been received - a figure which reveals a 12.27 percent increase on those made a year ago (1'401). Moreno said that this increase is attributable to the fact that sailing vessel permits for Cabrera are done on an annual basis but the granting of them does not automatically include the license to moor-up overnight. Vessels allowed overnight stays are limited to 50 at any one time.

Because the waters between the island mainland of Majorca and Cabrera are part of the maritime national park, the sport of diving is also monitored and has to be applied for in the same way as sailing for a day and mooring-up overnight. According to Moreno, requests for permission to dive are also on the increase, 26.5 percent more than those registered the previous year. During the first eight months of this year, there have been 210 applications for a license to dive. Moreno said there was no danger of saturation because new maritime zones have been set aside for the purpose.

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