The Balearic Federation of Fishermen’s Guilds is to ask the regional environment and fisheries ministry to create a marine reserve in the sea off the Tramuntana mountain range. This was something that had previously been spoken about in respect of the area off Soller, but because of current circumstances a much wider reserve is being sought.
Antoni Garau, the secretary-general of the federation, explains that these circumstances have arisen because of serious problems with fish stocks in the area. The shortage of potential catch has led to the loss of roughly a half of the traditional fishermen from this part of the Majorcan coast. Garau believes that a future marine reserve should extend much further than just Soller and so include Banyalbufar, Valldemossa, Deya, Cala Tuent and Pollensa.
Garau says that the fishermen are in agreement as to the need for this new reserve, having been able to see how well reserves operate off other parts of the island’s coast, e.g. El Toro and Malgrats in Calvia. As there are other reserves off the eastern and southern coasts, a reserve for the Tramuntana would mean that there would be protected reserves for mostly all of Majorca.
In addition to this request for a Tramuntana reserve, the ministry already has one to unite the protected areas of El Toro and Magrats and for its extension to Dragonera off the Andratx coast. The federation believes that one reason for the serious problem with fishing stocks is over-exploitation, and it is attaching much blame for this to the level of recreational fishing, for which - as reported in The Bulletin on Sunday (4 October) - it is seeking reform of the Balearic fishing law.