THE Marine Reserve in Cala Ratjada, in the north east of Majorca, will have a remote controlled robot submarine before the end of the year.
It will be supplied by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA), and its mission will be to make inspections of the protected area of the Reserve to a depth of up to 70 metres. This resource will cost the Reserve 25'000 euros. This was announced by the Spanish Government in reply to a recent parliamentary question, in which they said that 325'000 euros had been assigned to the Marine Reserve, of which 300'000 will be paid during the months of November and December, towards the cost of a patrol boat, which has a total cost of 425'000 euros. The contract for the construction of the patrol boat was awarded recently.
In addition to this, MAPA will give the Reserve another 10'000 euros for an evaluation study about the impact which diving and recreational activities have on the Marine Reserve, especially with regard to the local flora and fauna. In total, the Ministry plans to invest 815'000 euros up to 2009, which will be used for maintenance, protection and coordination of the patrol boat.
It will be used exclusively in the Marine Reserve, via an agreement with the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, to follow fishing boats in the Reserve. The funds will also be used to purchase material for analysis and diving equipment, and equipment for taking photographs, both underwater and on the surface. For their part, the Balearic Government will contribute 421'000 euros to this initiative during the same period.


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