Last Friday, the Board of Trustees of Cabrera National Park decided to promote the expansion of the marine protected area advocated by Oceana since 2008.
Oceana congratulated the members of the Board of Trustees of Cabrera National Park, which includes a wide range of interested parties from fishermen and scientific institutions to the Balearic and Spanish administrations among others, for the agreement reached during the meeting held last Friday in the Archipelago of Cabrera (Balearic Islands, Spain) , recommending the expansion of the limits of the National Park. If approved in the limits advocated by Oceana, the waters included within the boundaries of the national park will increase by ten times, up to 80,000 Ha.
The expansion proposal is the result of the studies completed by Oceana during years of campaigning around the National Park. These studies led to the discovery of important habitats that should be protected under this designation, the highest category of protection for biodiversity.
“Protecting these ecosystems reaps unquestionable benefits for the environment and citizens, given the proven effectiveness of well-managed marine protected areas. Expanding Cabrera will involve protecting extraordinarily productive habitats discovered outside the current limits of the park. Today, these habitats are threatened by the use of aggressive fishing techniques, like bottom trawling,” states oceanographer Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana Europe. “The board’s decision will help put a stop to the loss of Balearic marine biodiversity and represents an important step toward sustainable fishing, including the promotion of artisinal fishing gear used traditionally in the Balearic Islands.”
Conservation organizations like GOB, Greenpeace, WWF, Ecologistas en Acción and SEO-Birdlife have fully supported Oceana’s proposal through their representatives in the Board of Cabrera national park and the statements they've made to the media.
The Park Board’s decision will contribute to Spain’s advance toward the conservation of 10% of its jurisdictional waters, as established by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. In addition, the expansion of the park’s protected areas to include deep waters will facilitate compliance with the Law on National Parks, which indicates that the park network should include ecosystems like the marine slopes included in Oceana’s proposal.
Report: A Bionomic Study of Cabrera (Spanish)