Large fishing zone off Puerto Soller.

12-09-2006Ultima Hora

A request has been sent to the national ministry of the environment for there to be a large marine reserve in the fishing zone of Puerto Soller. The regional government, in seeking national agreement, envisages an area of some 5,000 hectares along a coastal stretch in the Tramuntana from Ses Puntes in Soller to Morro d’en Llobera in Escorca.

Regional environment minister Vicenç Vidal has explained to representatives of the town hall, the fishermen’s guild, the yacht club and the local hoteliers’ association that his ministry has formally sent this request to Isabel García Tejerina, the national environment minister, urging her to establish a marine reserve of fishing interest off the Tramuntana coast. Vidal accepts that the Balearic government doesn’t have the powers to undertake this initiative as it applies to external waters. In the approach to Madrid, Vidal has referred to a proposal made by the yacht club for a marine reserve in S’Illeta, an initiative that was expanded by a 2010 study which considered the situation with overfishing and the great potential for the recovery of fish stocks. This proposal, based on technical and operative criteria in a larger reserve, is what is now being requested. The Tramuntana coast, says Vidal, “has enormous potential”.

But it has, he notes, less than 10% of possible biological resources. The government estimates, therefore, that in the space of three years, this marine reserve “could multiply five or twenty times, depending upon the extension, the number of fish”. For the government, the reserve is “the only thing that can prevent the loss of the fish population in this part of the island and, therefore, the fishermen who depend upon it”. The previous proposal was rejected by the national ministry for being too expensive, but the latest proposal has wide consensus. The town hall declared itself “delighted” by the proposal.

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