So far this year, 68 illegal boat charter operations have been denounced to the ministry of territory and transport. These contrast with 25 proceedings having been opened last year against illegal hire. Minister Marc Pons announced yesterday that since the introduction of regulations to curb illegal activities, these have fallen by around 20%. "People are not as tempted to enter the market in an illegal manner."
Accompanying the minister at a press conference was José María Jiménez of the Balearic nautical businesses association. He observed that there are fewer "pirate charters" but there is still a "significant number" of illegal boats. He estimated this number was down from some 40% to between 20 and 25 per cent - approximately 280.
When the association comes across unauthorised boats, the Guardia Civil are informed. There are more penalties this year, Jiménez noted, because there are more resources.
With regard to legitimate charter business, he said that this has been quite slow until now. A reason, among others, has been fewer flights to the Balearics. Nevertheless, he anticipates there being an increase of more than three per cent over the coming months.