Environment agents control areas with posidonia sea grass. | CAIB

The main associations representing the nautical sector in the Balearics have come together in creating a platform that denounces government policies. Their "manifesto", which is directed specifically at the environment, agriculture and fisheries ministry, complains about "prohibitions, impositions and restrictions". The ministry, the associations say, "seeks confrontation with users of the sea"; its management is a "failure".

Represented on the platform are the associations for sailors, recreational boat users, yacht clubs and marinas, charter hire and others. They are demanding, among other things, the elimination of grants that the ministry gives to ecological organisations and of public funds for research by the likes of the University of the Balearic Islands.

Minister Vicenç Vidal is accused of having presided over four years of "damage" by a few ecological groups who are "within his ideological orbit". By contrast, the minister has taken no account of associations representing users of the sea.

The platform points to the example of the increased size of the Cabrera National Park. The expansion does not have scientific or technical justification, while it entails the total prohibition of recreational fishing in areas where this has traditionally been done and has had no negative impact.

The associations stress that they are in favour of any regulation that protects the coasts and the marine environment so long as there is justification. They back "socially sustainable ecology" and not "glaring contradictions" such as those contained in the decree for the protection of posidonia sea grass.