Posidonia meadows are highly important for Mediterranean ecosystems. | Manu San Félix

Caterina Amengual, the regional director-general for biodiversity, has requested that nautical charts show areas of protection for posidonia sea grass. She made this request at a meeting with other senior officials from the environment ministry and the heads of the Balearics naval sector and harbour master's office. Her wish is for the posidonia to be charted once new protection regulations are in place.

It was pointed out that the charts are for coastal navigation and there can be difficulties with showing different elements that might cause confusion. The government, though, is looking at the possibility of substituting chart documents with electronic versions, which would include more reliable information about seabeds.

Posidonia protection is a priority for the government, but it runs up against a division in responsibilities. The only protection that is currently effective relates to the marine environment controlled by the regional government, meaning areas within marine parks. This is the case with the Cabrera national park, the Ses Salines of Ibiza and Formentera nature park and the Albufera des Grau nature park in Minorca.

The Red Natura 2000 network in the Balearics has identified other areas, but protected status will have to wait on reports from the national government in order to include them.

Unrelated to navigation but on the same theme of posidonia protection, evidence has been released in the past few days of the presence of cyanobacteria affecting the seabed in the bay of Palma. There is an area of the seabed that is reddish in colour, characteristic of the bacteria, which is some 400 metres from the outlet for sewage water. Marine life in the area is said to have been devastated by this bacteria. There are posidonia meadows in the affected part of the bay.