Boats in Cala Macarella, Minorca this summer. | Tino Jäger


In the Balearic parliament on Tuesday, environment minister Miquel Mir said that there is the need for a debate about the number of boats and the "overcrowding of the sea". Referring to cases where there have been masses of boats this summer, Mir called for this debate to be done in a "diligent way".

Mir was responding to Patricia Font of Més Minorca, who drew attention to the number of boats which were made to move because they were anchored in areas with posidonia sea grass - 40% out of some 2,380. Font denounced "tourist overcrowding at sea, far exceeding the sea's carrying capacity".

For Font, it was striking that Minorca had the "worst performance". In Mallorca only seven per cent of the boats inspected had to move. In Ibiza this was 9.7% and in Formentera 1.3%.

She attributed this to the fact that "there are many inexperienced sailors, who do not know where they can anchor" despite the fact that the ministry has made available a map of posidonia meadows.

Mir said that the application of the posidonia decree has been "very good" and "especially in Minorca", although he admitted that the island has been an anomaly this summer. There has been "notable overcrowding", which he put down to there having been a lot of national tourists with their own boats.

He called for cooperation between the different administrations which have responsibility for the sea. The Balearic government is not the only one. Wanting more involvement of the Spanish government, he added that there also needs to be public awareness.