S'Illeta will form part of the marine reserve. | Lluc Garcia

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The national ministry of ecological transition will shortly approve the establishment of the Tramuntana marine reserve.

The secretary of the federation of fishermen's brotherhoods in Mallorca, Antoni Garau, says that the ministry has unofficially notified him that the go-ahead is to be given for the reserve. The Balearic government has received similar notification.

The campaign for the reserve started in 2008. It came from the Club Náutico in Soller, the yacht club initially anticipating that the reserve would be limited to a few hectares around the S'Illeta islet.

The fishermen in Puerto Soller called for there to be a much larger reserve in order to recover fish stocks in the area. These had been depleted by over-fishing and by recreational fishing. The Balearic government presented a formal request to the national ministry (then the environment ministry) in 2015, as it deals with the protection of external waters, which are a state responsibility.

The proposal made in 2015 was for a reserve from Ses Puntes and S'Illeta in Soller to Morro d'en Llobera (Escorca), with a marine area of 5,000 hectares and different sections with varying levels of protection for recreational and professional fishing.

Studies by the regional directorate of fisheries suggest that the reserve would lead to fish stocks increasing by as much as twenty times over the period of a few years.