More and better MPAs in Calvià: unification and enlargement of Isla del Toro and Malgrats Islands marine reserves.
Good news with room for improvement
On the 24th of October, Calvià Town Hall voted in favor of requesting the Balearic Government to unify and extend the marine reserves of El Toro and Malgrats with the support of almost all political parties.
We praise the local municipality of Calvià for their leadership and hope there will be other municipalities that follow and feel inspired by this move. But we call on the Balearic government to raise the level of ambition extending the reserve to the island of Sec, as already requested by Calvià Town Hall in the previous legislature and including a No Take Zone. Let's remember that, despite the fact that the Balearic Islands has one of the largest marine areas declared as an AMP (Protected Marine Area), only 0.16% of the Balearic Sea is declared an integral non-fishing area.
According to Aniol Esteban, director of the Marilles Foundation: "We hope that the Balearic government will make it possible to create this reserve very soon and that the necessary resources will be dedicated to its optimum management and to achieving its maximum potential".
The El Toro and Malgrats marine reserves are the smallest in the Balearics, with a current surface area of 239 hectares. Even so, the Toro reserve has produced spectacular results in terms of the increase in the volume of fish of commercial interest, which has quadrupled in the last 13 years. This has not been the case in the Malgrats Islands which has not experienced much change. The extension will represent an increase in the marine protected area of 1,267 ha, from 239 ha to 1,506 ha. We hope that improved connectivity between reserves will help improve performance.
Marine reserves of fishing interest are created with the main objective of improving the productivity of fish stocks which in practice means more fish, a better yield for professional fishermen, and positive indirect impacts for the recreational sector that benefits from the reserve effect. But in addition to fish, they provide many other benefits: an improvement in the state of vulnerable habitats and species; opportunities for leisure and enjoyment for tourists and residents; and a boost to the local economy. The improvement and optimal management of marine protected areas in the Balearics is and must be a pillar of the Islands' economic recovery strategy.
To be extended:
Marilles in the media
- 17/08/2021 The Guardian: "Mallorca marine reserve boosts wildlife as well as business, report finds"
- 17/08/2021 Ultima Hora: "'The Guardian' se hace eco del impulso económico de la reserva marina de Mallorca"
- 12/08/2021 El Mundo: "Las reservas marinas generan grandes beneficios para las economías locales"
Marilles at the World Conservation Congress
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).