Aquaculture for all

Oceana Issues 28 Complaints for Illegal Anchoring

Sustainability Politics +2 more

SPAIN - Since late June, Oceana has constantly surveyed the ships anchoring in the Natural Park of Ses Salines dEivissa i Formentera, by means of ship monitoring systems and satellite images.

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The data compiled have allowed the organisation to alert the authorities in the Balearics of up to 28 possible illegal anchoring on posidonia in the area.

From our offices, we are being able to detect illegal anchoring in the Ses Salines protected area. We are aware of the limitations on public resources for surveillance, but the number of anchoring instances on posidonia is shameful. The way in which this activity is being managed does not seem to be the most effective one, says Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana Europe.

Taking into account that the monitoring is not exhaustive and that we have been very careful when deciding to file claims against specific ships, we have identified up to 22 ships which clearly anchored on posidonia on 28 occasions. Many of those ships were more than 40 m long.

Oceana has constantly and immediately warned both the Guardia Civil maritime service and the Balearics Government by means of delivery of information sheets for every detected ship, detailing the ships characteristics and its illegal anchoring details. In some cases, two and three warnings were given for the same ship. The Consells of Eivissa and Formentera were also informed.

The warning information sheets include the details for every ship, as well as their anchoring start and end times and their exact position, and are sent to authorities as soon as the information is attested, says Silvia Garca, a marine scientist at Oceana. We are seeing cases of ships anchored on posidonia in the areas that are supposedly most protected, as well as ship which, having notified their presence, remained for hours or even days in the same spot.

Oceana will continue to survey anchoring on posidonia and send to the Ministry of the Environment all cases of illegal anchoring found, demanding once more that the central and the regional governments manage in an effective way the human activities that are most aggressive towards one of the most emblematic and protected species in the Mediterranean. Should these activities persist, Oceana does not rule out bringing its complaints to the European Commission and to UNESCO, as the affected area falls under a protection status granted by these European and international organisations.

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