Internal report by the balearic regional government recommends enlargement of Cabrera National Park

The report was hidden for three years, and was transferred from administration to administration, before being made public.

Press Release Date: November 16, 2012

Location: Madrid


Marta Madina | email: | tel.: Marta Madina

The seabeds which attract most attention due to their extraordinary wealth are coralligenous seabeds, where illegal trawling is being performed. The authors of the report request that trawling activities move to greater depths.

The enlargement of the Cabrera National Park has the support of many researchers who have examined the seabeds surrounding this area. A report (Spanish) written in early 2010 by scientists and technicians working for the Balearic Regional Government, the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, and the Spanish High Council for Scientific Research, recommended the enlargement of the area under protection to include some of the richest and most threatened seabeds, including the extraordinary coralligenous bed located to the east of the archipelago, in an area known as Fort den Moreu.

The algae and calcareous rock formations in and of themselves already justify its protection, but this area is also of great importance for such species as the grouper, the banded sea bream, red and black coral, and the lobster.

This document was commissioned almost three years ago but was never published. And it has been transferred from administration to administration without ever being made public or mentioned, despite the many requests made by Oceana and other organisations and institutions which called for protection of the areas surrounding the national park.

Between 2007 and 2011, Oceana made known the discovery of significant seabed areas which contain habitats protected by European and Spanish law around Cabrera. In its requests, it also placed particular emphasis on these coralligenous formations to the east of Cabrera, which it had managed to film and thus confirm the wealth and spectacular nature of the undersea landscape, including deep-sea kelp forests and gorgonian gardens.

“All specialists confirm the importance of the seabeds in the area around Cabrera, and yet this had led to no political action, even though some of the species and habitats found there are required by various European laws to be protected”, says Xavier Pastor, director of Oceana in Europe. “Instead, tolerance towards illegal trawling in these seabeds has forced us to file a claim with the Council for Agriculture, Fishing, and the Environment in the Balearic Regional Government”.

Oceana has photographs and video images available

Further information: Technical proposal for the enlargement of the Cabrera National Park (in Catalan) Propuesta técnica de ampliación del Parque Nacional de Cabrera (in Spanish)

Press release and letter to Gabriel Company on illegal trawling in the area