Balance and future challenges

Published 01.02.2022


Balance and future challenges

Balance and future challenges

It has been more than 4 years since we launched Marilles to transform the Balearic Islands into a world reference for marine conservation. Since then, we have financed more than 65 projects, supported more than 40 organisations, and invested almost €3 million to achieve a goal shared by many: to have a sea in an excellent state of conservation. We want our sea to be a source of enjoyment, leisure, wellbeing, and economic prosperity for the whole of Balearic society, but unfortunately it still does not receive the attention it deserves.

Over the last few years, we have worked to improve and extend the Balearic Islands marine protected areas, move towards sustainable fishing, and recover vulnerable species such as rays and sharks. We have also built the necessary foundations for long-term change by:

  • promoting the Balearic Sea Report– which makes available to the public 150 indicators with the best available information on our sea.
  • promoting marine citizen science with Sea Observers.
  • strengthening third-sector organisations through training.
  • launching the MARE underwater photography competition which, with more than 2,000 photographs, has brought to light a thousand wonders hidden under the waters of the Balearic Sea and the threats to which they are subjected. 

The results of the extensive evaluation we carried out in 2021 encourage us to move forward with energy and enthusiasm. While we have achieved a lot, we are aware that it would not have been possible without the effort and commitment of all the people and organisations that have been working for years to improve the state of our sea, be they from the world of NGOs, research, administration, fisheries, or the private sector. The support and generosity of foundations and families who have provided the necessary funding in a selfless and philanthropic way have been indispensable. Surprisingly, only €1 of every €10 we invest comes from the Balearic Islands. We hope that in the coming years this imbalance will be redressed.

We start 2022 with great enthusiasm. We have achieved a lot, and at the same time, we have great challenges ahead of us. One of these is to fix and end illegal fishing and the illegal sale of fish products which unfortunately is still widespread throughout the Balearic Islands. Our research shows that they affect all sectors related to fishing and its commercialisation. On 16 December in Palma we presented the results of our study of Ending illegal fishing in the Balearic Islands, which counted with the participation of representatives from professional fishing, recreational fishing, and underwater fishing, alongside fishing inspectors, restaurants, NGOs, scientists, and administrators. The diagnosis and proposed solutions form the basis of the coordinated work that we want to implement in 2022 on all the islands. This project will be taken forward in collaboration with Mallorca Preservation, Menorca Preservation and IbizaPreservation and Blue Marine. Let’s make 2022 a particularly successful year for the conservation of the Balearic Sea.