Action A2. Initial study to establish the creation of new reserves.
Partner: Direcció general de Pesca

Initial aims of the project:
To carry out studies of two areas off the coast of the island of Majorca in the NE and SW sectors, in order to evaluate them and assess whether or not to create three new marine reserves of a minimum of 22,500 hectares. The studies were to include a description and evaluation of the actual state of the sea floor and the communities existing on it ( benthic bionomy, visual count, and experimental fishing) , and also the development of a management proposal stipulating detailed zoning.

Detailed development of the action:
The initially targeted areas were widened to include the SE corner of the island of Majorca ( round about the area of Cap Salines, and the archipelago round the island of Cabrera), so the final targeted areas encompassed a total of 32,000 hectares instead of the minimum of 11,000 ha. initially considered in the original proposal for action. This final area of 32,000 was also larger than the 22,500 ha. area that had been previewed to appear in the expected results stipulated in the original project.
In order to carry out the actual work, an agreement with the Centre d’Estudis Avançats de Blanes (CSIC)—Blanes Advanced Studies Centre-- was established and a contract thereof signed, comprising benthic bionomy studies and visual counting of the population of fish in the three new natural marine reserves. Said field work campaigns were carried out during the years 2002 and 2003, to evaluate the areas included in the study for the previewed creation of the three new marine reserves round Majorca.
• Muntanyes d’Artà (ES0000227) (Coastline mountains of Artà)
• Sa Dragonera (ES0000221) (Island off the SW coast of Majorca)
• Archipelago round the island of Cabrera pertaining to the coastal area of Majorca (ES0000083)
The final reports on the three areas were presented in 2004:
• Study of fish communities and benthos of the area of Muntanyes d’Artà (ES0000227)
• Study of benthic communities and fish pertaining to the coastal area of Majorca situated in the Cabrera Archipelago (ES0000083).
• Study of benthic communities and fish off Sa Dragonera (ES0000221).

Establishment of Three New Marine Reserves.
The second phase of Action A.2 was fully completed. A new marine reserve was established in the SCI part of the coastal area pertaining to Majorca encompassing an area of the archipelago of the island of Cabrera (ES0000083) and the reserve was named “Reserva Marina de Migjorn de Mallorca” (May 2002).
This marine reserve has an extension of 22,332 hectares, and comprises a coastal area off the island of Majorca that adjoins, in its most southerly part, the limits of the “Parque Nacional Marítimo Terrestre de Cabrera” (National Land and Marine Park of Cabrera). In this marine reserve, as in all others, regulations are established in order to control the use and commercial development of the marine environment included within the borders of the reserve, with the aim of increasing the natural regeneration of the resources as well as improving the conservation of the most representative ecosystems.
This reserve substitutes the other one which had been planned in the SCI area of Sa Dragonera (ES0000221), as it complies with the project’s aim which was to establish new marine reserves.
As for the Marine Reserve in the SCI area of Muntanyes d’Artà ( ES0000227), the reserve was approved on the 23rd of March, 2007.

Therefore, the original objective of this project : effective protection of the habitats, is considered to have been fulfilled: an area almost 50 % larger than originally previewed has been protected, all necessary measures have been taken, and the required means provided.

Look up the web: Marine Reserves of the Balearic Islands, General Directorate of Fishing ( “Las reservas marinas en las Islas Baleares de la Dirección General de Pesca”)

Image 2. . Distribution of size frequency for the E.marginatus species off the island of Sa Dragonera situated off the coastal area of the Andratx municipality.