Regional law will give posidonia sea grass additional protection. | Archive

The regional government's posidonia protection decree will allow anchoring in sea grass areas so long as it is done with ecological buoys, which are designed to prevent the type of traction with traditional anchoring that can destroy the posidonia.

At present, there is a ban on anchoring in two areas of high environmental value, namely the sea grass meadows off Es Trenc and Cabrera. Otherwise, the sea around much of Majorca's coastline has posidonia meadows of varying densities. The most prolific areas are the bays of Pollensa and Alcudia and around the Arta/Capdepera headland of Cap Farrutx. Less dense but still very significant are meadows off the east coast from Capdepera to Felanitx and off the southern coast between Calvia and Ses Salines. There is less posidonia off the Tramuntana coast: around Deya is where it is to be most found. There are four zones currently designated for specific restoration - two in Pollensa Bay, one off Cala Blava in Llucmajor and the other off Sant Elm.

Unless ecological buoys are used, the decree will prohibit traditional anchoring except if it is needed for legally permitted activities and affects an area of less than one per cent of a meadow's size.

Although associations have complained about not having been consulted, there is now a period of 20 days for submissions to be made regarding the decree; it is, therefore, still only a draft.

The decree will set out penalties for breaches and it also addresses the removal of dead posidonia. On beaches that are classified as "natural", which basically means there is no urban development or very little development, it will only be possible to remove posidonia manually unless there is express permission for machinery from the environment ministry. On "urban" beaches, machinery will be permitted.