Restoration of shallow bays
The shallow water bays of the Balearic Islands are home to a wealth of habitats and species. But these have been severely degraded in recent decades, due to multiple pressures, such as poor water quality, shipping, and coastal developments. The surface area of marine plants (e.g., Posidonia, Cymodocea, and Zoostera), indicator algae communities of high ecological value (e.g., Cystoseira), and the number of emblematic species, such as seahorses and seagulls, have decreased significantly. Even so, the Balearics have some of the best-preserved shallow bays in the Mediterranean.
Thanks to the support of the Swiss-based Didier and Martine Primat Foundation, we are working with scientists from the Socio-Environmental Observatory of Menorca(OBSAM) to initiate the restoration of three to five shallow bays in Menorca. Our aim is to replicate and amplify the impact at other sites in the Balearic Islands and beyond. The first phase of this three-year project will define the state of the bays, determine their optimum ecological potential, and design a programme of measures to help us improve them.
“The General Ports Plan of the Balearic Islands contemplates the expansion of the ports of Fornells and Addaia. The proposed expansion endangers the integrity of the communities of algae and phanerogams that live in and sustain a rich and complex ecosystem. As a society, we must ask ourselves what we want: to preserve nature, of which we are a part, or to continue with growth without clear limits and with dubious economic benefits for the majority of the population.”Marta Sales PhD in biology and project coordinator