The Balearic government intends getting tough with illegal charter boat hire and increasing the current range of fines in time for the next summer season.

At present, fines start from 500 euros and go up to a maximum of 100,000 euros for the most serious violations. New tariffs have yet to be decided, but at a meeting with representatives from the legitimate charter industry, the director-general for ports, Xavier Ramis, made clear that there will be higher fines.

The government has websites that promote illegal hire in its sights, and Ramis suggests that there will be a similar approach to that for websites which advertise unlicensed holiday rentals. Adverts for boats would therefore need to include a registration number. The association for maritime activity businesses has called for there to be this measure, and its president, José María Jiménez, is pleased that the government is taking the problem with illegal hire as seriously as it is.

The association reckons that up to 30% of charter hire in Majorca is illegal, while in Ibiza it is as much as 50%.