The Guardia Civil continued its inspections of party boats last summer. | Guardia Civil


The national ministry of public administration has informed the Balearic government that it cannot prohibit party boats in protected marine areas that do not correspond to its powers. Apparently, there has to be clear "ecological continuity" between land that is protected and the marine ecosystem. For the most part this isn't the case, and therefore the government cannot apply its prohibition.

The regional environment ministry has commissioned a report to determine which areas do fall within the government's powers and those which do not. Among those being considered is the Cabrera National Park, which is ultimately the responsibility of the national government but which is managed by the Balearic government.

Regional legislation on environmental evaluation includes provision for the banning of certain activities in the protected marine areas. Party boats are picked out for specific mention through reference to "fiestas" with music on boats which alter significantly the natural sound and which are activities incompatible with conservation and the peace and quiet of people who wish to enjoy beaches and the coast.

This legislation, passed in August, invades the powers of the state and so there are now discussions going on to arrive at an agreement which will avoid the law being taken to the Constitutional Court. The regional environment ministry says that it will revise the law if it has to, but it urges the national government to prohibit party boats in protected waters which are the state's responsibility.