03-09-2004A. SEPULVEDA

The regional government is being pressed to start the procedures for connecting and widening the marine reserves of the El Toro and Magrats islands off the Calvia coast. At the latest council meeting, a motion for this was approved by the ruling PSOE and SSPC (Si Se Puede Calvia) with the backing of the Esquerra Oberta (Open Left) and Ciudadanos. The Partido Popular abstained.

The motion proposes that there be new demarcation to bring together the current reserves and widen them to Es Clot des Moro and Cap Falcó, which would include the islet El Sec. Under this expanded protection, the marine reserves would maintain the same level of conservation established by the Balearic fishing law.

El Sec would have similar treatment to Malgrats and El Toro, while in the rest of the area underwater fishing and trawling would be expressly prohibited. Fishermen, both professional and recreational, would be permitted from shore or boat, but fishing would be done responsibly and without increasing periods when it is banned. The total protected area would increase from the current 239 hectares to 2,186.

The town hall’s ruling administration believes that this would be a measure for “environmental and tourist improvement”, the deputy mayor, Antonio García, pointing to the “unprecedented” improvements which have occurred at Malgrats and El Toro since they were declared marine reserves in 2005.

The PP abstained, saying that there hadn’t been any consultation with associations involved in recreational fishing.

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