A COASTAL investigation centre is to be set up and funded on Majorca by both regional and central governments for the scientific study and protection of marine life.

Balearic government spokesman Margarita Najera said yesterday that finance will be made available to the tune of 32 million euros to cover costs for developing technology which can be put to use for research over a long term period. Such installations will be dedicated to the acquisition, analysis and application of information related to the sea environment as it is now – how island activity is affecting it – and what can be done to protect it. An agreement is to signed by the Balearic government with the central government ministry for Education and Science for the design, construction, and operation of the new research centre. It is envisaged that by the year 2021, some 36.3 million euros will have been donated to the project, each government paying equal amounts. It is intended that the programme of Marine Research and Development started in the Balearics will extend to other areas of Spain and by virtue of it state-of-the-art installations, will become an international benchmark for other marine environment studies. This “observation centre of the future” will give technological support to marine investigation projects at a national and international level for developing monitoring and recording procedures. It will introduce new technology which will permit the detection and quantification of changes in coastal ecosystems, the understanding of the mechanisms which regulate them and the forecast of how they will unfold. The centre will play an additional educational role in providing information to schools and colleges, in advising marine activity industries and coastal management organisations.

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