The lack of surveillance leaves one of the richest locations in the Spanish Mediterranean, where many fish species reproduce, in the hand of poachers
Oceana has warned that many species in the National Park are also present in neighbouring areas, where they are not protected, so it believes that its enlargement is necessary, as approved by the National Park Board of Trustees one year ago
Oceana has warned that more than half of the species in the Cabrera Archipelago National Park (Balearic Islands, Spain) are not sufficiently protected, as their distribution extends beyond the boundaries of the current Park. In addition, lack of surveillance over the protected area makes conservation of these species even more difficult. For this reason, the international organisation for marine conservation has requested that its management be reviewed and the procedure for Park enlargement, which the Board of Trustees voted for in 2011, be taken up again.
“Firstly, we find a serious problem with poachers in the park itself, as well as recent cutbacks in management resources. In addition, the protected marine surface is not enough to cover the main habitats and species”, points out Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana in Europe. “For this reason, Oceana requests that current Park management be thoroughly reviewed, and that the agreed works necessary for its enlargement be launched”.
The seabed in the Cabrera National Park has very rich ecosystems, with many algae, invertebrate, and fish species among others, many of which are protected by various national and international regulations.
A large part of these species are also present in the seabed neighbouring the park, in unprotected areas, for which reason such significant species as lobster, sea urchin, grouper, and sea bream lack the necessary management measures for their maintenance and recovery. Moreover, it has been proved that the surroundings of Cabrera shelter habitats of high environmental value, such as large kelp forests, coralligenous seabeds, and black coral communities, whose protection would enrich the protected space.
“The National Park of Cabrera was created to protect one of the most diverse and rich marine areas in the Mediterranean, but its current status does not provide effective coverage for some of its main species, or for areas with essential habitats for the reproduction of fish species, such as picarel nests, squid spawning areas, and red mullet nursery areas”, says Ricardo Aguilar, Director of Projects and Research of Oceana in Europe. “Given the diversity of its surroundings, these are perfect for inclusion in the Spanish National Park network, given that the law requires the habitats present here to be protected, and these are hardly represented in the current network, or not at all”.
The Cabrera Board of Trustees, in its meeting of June 2011, unanimously decided to support this initiative, agreeing to request the Government of the Balearics and the Spanish Government to start the enlargement process. Oceana requests that this initiative be taken up once again to increase the natural value of the park and meet the aims of European legislation and international conventions.
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