The island of Menorca is still home to some of the best preserved shallow water bays in the Balearic Islands (Spain) and the Mediterranean. However, the vast majority have lost their ecological quality in recent decades due to poor water quality, pressure from recreational boating and coastal development. It is essential to act now to ensure the protection of these precious and biodiversity-rich areas and to serve as a model for other islands and regions in the Mediterranean.
In collaboration with scientists, local NGOs and coastal communities, the project consists of actions to reduce pressures, ensure a legal framework for long-term conservation, design and implement a plan for the restoration of macro-algae forests (real nurseries for species reproduction) and the reintroduction of emblematic species such as seahorses and guitarfish.
– Selecting priority locations
– Creating Baseline scenario & indicators
– Building a conservation-Restoration plan
– Feasibility studies for the reintroduction of seahorse/ Gfish
– Implementing Restoration plan
Policy and legal
– Building a “Defensive” policy work
– Advancing management plans
– Obtain Legal permits
Public engagement & amplifying impact
– Building a Joint vision among stakeholders
– Enroling Volunteer groups & citizens science
– Campaigning, Communication and events
• Increased biodiversity levels; improved ecological health status for the three selected sites.
• Management plans completed. Effective protection measures in place. Impacts and pressures reduced.
• Local support and participation in conservation and restoration activities; positive receptivity towards the re-introduction of seahorse and guitarfish (assuming results are positive)
• Site restoration protocols and guides finished. Know-how transferred to other Balearic Islands and/or Mediterranean sites
Benefits and impacts
• Tourists and residents will enjoy cleaner and more transparent waters in which to swim, snorkel, and appreciate in multiple ways.
• Entrepreneurs will have opportunity to develop new businesses linked to an improved-marine environment.
• Local businesses will have the opportunity to get added value from their products and services because they come from a site of high ecological quality.
• Tourists and residents will enjoy improvements in quality of life and well-being due to reduction of pressures, marine spatial planning, and increased ecological health.
• Healthier bays will provide Increased resilience to ecological shocks and climate change impacts.
• Increased offer of marine environmental education activities.
Marilles is a foundation dedicated to the conservation of the Balearic Sea and coast and believes that healthy marine ecosystems can be reconciled with economic prosperity.