El Canal de Menorca has been declared a Site of Community Importance or SCI by the European Commission and an appeal by the Balearic Federation of Fishermen’s Guilds to prevent it becoming a protected area has been thrown out of court.
It’s a major blow for trawler fishermen and bans them from fishing in 70% of the waters between northern Mallorca and Minorca.
The Judge ruled that “the fishermen's appeal is not sufficiently substantiated with a single reference to the case,” and cited "lack of objective cassation interest for the formation of jurisprudence".
The ruling was welcomed by Oceana Senior Marine Scientist Pilar Marin.
“Trawling is very detrimental to marine habitats and the court's decision sets a precedent for the protection of these ecosystems,” she said.
“Canal de Minorca covers 1,400 square kilometres with areas of coral reefs and maërl of great importance," added Marín who claimed that trawlers from Pollença, Alcúdia, Cala Rajada, Ciutadella, Portocolom and Santanyí were fishing in these areas.