Oceana invites regional minister Company to see the Cabrera seabed with a submarine robot

Oceana adviser Alexandra Cousteau will travel to the Balearic Islands next week to join the team of divers and ROV operators

Press Release Date: October 22, 2013

Location: Madrid


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Oceana has invited the Regional Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Territory, Gabriel Company, to check in situ the existence of protected habitats in the area around the Cabrera National Park. The international marine conservation organisation has proposed embarking next week to confirm, with the help of a submarine robot (ROV), the presence of maerl and coralligenous seabeds, habitats that, according to the legislation, should be protected. Company has yet to contact Oceana to confirm whether or not he has accepted the invitation.

 “The maerl and coralligenous seabeds are a source of food and refuge for many fish and for this reason they are important fishing grounds. However, the use of fishing techniques that damage the seabed is killing them off. Every day that methods such as bottom trawling are used, habitats that have taken centuries to form may be lost. That is why we have invited Regional Minister Gabriel Company to check the existence of these seabeds in the area around the Cabrera National Park for himself ,” explains Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana in Europe. 

The Mediterranean Regulation requires the protection of maerl and coralligenous seabeds, both of which are formed by calcareous red algae. Oceana has underwater videos that prove the presence of both of these outside the boundaries of the park, and it has therefore proposed the extension of this boundary. However, trawler owners use the lack of an official map to deny the evidence and lobby against conservation measures. If sea conditions permit, Oceana will take new pictures with a submarine robot (ROV) next week.

 Further information: Proposal for the expansion of the Cabrera National Park