Expansion of el Toro and Malgrats marine reserves
Good news for the fishing and diving sector in the islands due to the extension of the Toro and Malgrats marine reserves. The protected area will be multiplied by 13, joining the two reserves from Punta Castellot to Cala Figuera.
El Toro and Malgrats marine reserves were created in 2004, with a total of 227 hectares, but in 2020, the Calvià Town Council insisted on extending and unifying the initial proposal, thus reaching 2952 hectares. Its main objective is to recover the autochthonous species and conserve the natural marine habitats. In El Toro and Malgrats area there are benthic habitats of great value, such as posidonia meadows and other coral beds that contain fish populations with high values of diversity and biomass, so the management of these reserves is of great importance for Mallorca.
The Balearic Islands is the leader in Spain with the largest number of preserved hectares, with more than 66,000 hectares of protected space among its 10 marine reserves. The main beneficiary sector is the fishing industry, who are the ones who demand the creation of these protected areas. Over the years, it has been observed that thanks to the creation of these areas, fish production increases and also contributes to the enrichment of the marine ecosystem by increasing the number of vulnerable species and even enriching the surrounding waters.
In the framework of Biodiversity 2030 – European Union strategy under the objective of reaching 30% of marine protected areas in 2030, we know that Balearic Islands will reach this goal easily, and will even overcome it. However, 10% of these protected areas will have to be under a high level of protection, prohibiting various activities, including fishing. Currently, only 2% is fully under high protection. So we will have to continue to work towards 10% or more.