THE regional Environment ministry is going to set up 520 protective floats around specific areas of the Balearic coastline to prevent boats harming beds of marine meadow grass, known as posidonia. The floats will stop vessels anchoring on the beds which are host to plants that form a part of the delicate ecosystem of the Islands, especially in terms of maintaining the quality of sand on Balearic beaches. Jaume Font, Environment minister for the Islands explained yesterday that the float experiment is part of a pilot scheme included in a wider European project entitled “Life Posidonia 2001-2007” aimed at protecting these marine grasses. The floats, which will cover an area of 45'000 hectars, will be in operation between the months of May and September of 2006 and 2007.
Should the trials prove successful, the Balearic authorities will ask for funding from central government to keep the momentum going and extend the project to other districts. “Responsibility for what goes on around the Balearic coastline lies initially with central government, and for this reason, we believe we should get their financial support,” Font asserted. Fifty percent of the funds which underpin the “Life” project are provided by the European Union.

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