Oceana welcomes the approval of the enlargement of the Cabrera National Park (Balearic Islands)
Press Release Date: August 7, 2015
The proposal would be entirely feasible by getting back the 5 million euros invested in 2011 and with the aid of monitoring technologies.
Oceana welcomes the approval by the Government Council (Consell de Govern) on Friday to begin the process of enlarging the National Park of Cabrera, in the Balearic Islands. The proposed enlargement of the Park has a track record of nine years, during which time it has been supported by different administrations and individuals, such as Enric Sala, a National Geographic researcher, Alexandra Cousteau and Odile Rodríguez de la Fuente.
“The beginning of the enlargement of the Cabrera National Park represents a milestone in the history of Balearic marine conservation and the sustainable development of economic activities such as artisanal fishing and tourism,” notes Xavier Pastor, vice president of Oceana. “Cabrera can become the second largest national park in the Mediterranean after the Alonissos-Northern Sporades (Greece), and this would help establish the Balearic Islands as a global example of marine conservation.”
The enlargement proposed by Oceana would result in an area covering almost 90,000 ha, ten times the current area of the Park. This includes various types of natural systems which the National Parks Act states must be protected, including the impressive Emile Baudot escarpment, south of Cabrera, rhodolith (magrana) and Coralline beds – under threat from trawling – and important areas for cetaceans, bluefin tuna and other large pelagic fish.
“For the enlargement of the park, it would be enough to get back the 2011 investment of 5 billion euros, transferred from the State to the Autonomous Community, and that all of it goes to Cabrera, rather than being diverted for other purposes, as has happened in recent years,” said Pastor. “The technology available today – for example, being able to control fishing vessels by satellite and drones – and agreements between different monitoring bodies for the optimisation of resources, would facilitate the necessary monitoring activities of the enlarged Park and make them far less expensive.”
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) determines that at least 30% of the seas need to be protected in order that they be able to recover effectively. The Balearic Islands currently has 17% of its waters protected, although a management plan to make this protection effective is only in place for 2%. Therefore, there is still much work to be done and enlarging Cabrera would be a big step in this direction.
Propuesta de ampliación del Parque Nacional de Cabrera (Proposal for the enlargement of the Cabrera National Park)