Map compiled by Oceana.
An Oceana report advises strict protection of 50 marine areas in Spain, 10 of which are in the Balearic Islands. Oceana is the largest international organisation dedicated to the protection of the oceans. The fact that 20% of the sites it proposes to protect in Spain are located in Balearic waters is evidence of the marine wealth of the sea surrounding the archipelago and the importance of protecting it.
Oceana's proposal coincides with the first point of the Balearic Blue Deal promoted by Marilles Foundation, which aims to establish 10 marine sanctuaries by 2028 and to protect a minimum of 10% of the Balearic marine surface (inland waters) to a strict level of protection by 2030.
Oceana defines marine protected areas (MPAs) as ‘the best tool for ocean conservation, if properly managed’. The areas needing protection in the marine environment and the habitats and species that inhabit it exist in all the world's seas, just as with natural protected areas on land. In the Balearic Islands, most MPAs have produced good results, although they are still far from their regeneration potential. Management and surveillance need to be strengthened to make them more effective. Oceana and Marilles agree that many MPAs are poorly managed, with a high level of permissiveness of harmful activities. This turns them into ‘paper parks’, because their written protection is not transferred to the sea. This lack of resources drastically diminishes the indisputable capacity of well-managed MPAs to restore ocean health.