Our main wish for 2024 is shared by more than 200 companies and entities in the Balearic Islands. That wish is for the government to take seriously the conservation of the sea and the Balearic coast, making progress on the five commitments of the Blue Deal: create a network of marine sanctuaries covering 10% of the Balearic Sea; implement conservation and recovery plans for vulnerable habitats and species; guarantee sustainable fishing by putting an end to poaching and fraudulent trade; improve the quality of coastal waters; and invest a minimum of 1% of the public budget in marine conservation.
A glance at government action and budgets shows that, today, improving water quality seems to be the only commitment guaranteed to receive the necessary attention. We have detected good intentions also in the area of fisheries. 2023 ended with the approval of a regulation on fisheries management measures common to all marine protected areas which, although insufficient, is a step in the right direction. In addition, work is underway on the creation of a management committee for recreational fishing, which we hope, in addition to reducing its impact, will also help to channel the commitment and responsibility that so many fishers have to the sea.
Even so, we are concerned about the inaction and silence regarding the creation of a network of marine sanctuaries covering 10% of the Balearic Sea. Providing high protection for one out of every ten square kilometres is the minimum that our sea and the citizens of these islands deserve. Today, only 0.07% of the Balearic Sea is highly protected or 1.7% if we take into account the waters under the control of the Balearic government. We hope that 2024 will see firm steps in this direction.
Last December's tourism fairs once again demonstrated the desire to present the Balearics as a sustainable destination. This will probably also be the case at fairs this year. We therefore hope and expect that the tourism sector, which has given broad support to the Balearic Blue Deal, will show its commitment to the Balearic and Mediterranean seas by calling for more political action to create a network of marine sanctuaries. We also want the Balearic government to express its willingness to do so and create a roadmap to achieve it. The reality is that a destination will never be sustainable as long as we put more resources into its promotion than into the conservation and improvement of its natural capital.
ANIOL ESTEBAN - Director
Marilles in the media
- 30/12/2023 Ara Balears: ""Hem vist que només que ho facem una mica bé, redreçam el rumb""
- 24/11/2023 La Voz de Ibiza: "Representantes del sector náutico y pesquero, empresarios y ecologistas debaten sobre la relevancia de la preservación del mar y la costa"
- 24/11/2023 Última Hora: "Aniol Esteban: «Es hora de corregir la deuda con nuestro mar»"
For a 2024 full of new experiences, and for a sea full of life!
What a journey, 2023! Close your eyes. Think of the best memories of this year that is coming to it...