Marine Parks in the Balearic Sea

Marine Parks in the Balearic SeaThe Network of national parks in Spain consists of 15 natural areas, out of which only 3 have sea surface, such as Cabrera Islands Atlantic. If you consider that Spain has a landmass area of 500 thousand kms and the Spanish Sea covers over 1 million kms, it is clear that the network of national parks in the ocean is neither representative nor coherent. One of the most ideal places to begin completion of the marine national park network is around the Cabrera area.

Outside the current zonal protection found in this area, there is an area in the Mediterranean which enjoys an extraordinary diverse wealth like certain habitats and marine species of high ecological value that inhabits the areas all the way from the bottom to the surface. From coral reefs to kelp forests and gorgonians, spawning areas are inhabited mainly by fish and shellfish, feeding areas for cetaceans and large pelagics. The truth is that the biodiversity surrounding the Cabrera area is fascinating and, unfortunately, it is also gravely threatened by human activities such as trawling.

In the last two years, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment has made great improvements in the network of national parks, and more recently, with the launch of the process of creating the first marine national park in El Hierro.

The Minister for Food, Agriculture and Environment announced in June 2014, that the inclusion of ecosystems that are not yet represented in the network of national parks would be promoted, however this official announcement has yet to yield any results. The extension of the National Park Cabrera may be the next step in this long term plan, but the professionals’ are advising to improve network communication by reinforcing interrelationships and cooperation among them and, especially, they are stressing the importance of resolving the lack of inclusion of marine ecosystems.