The Council of Ministers today approved the expansion of the maritime-terrestrial national park of Archipelago of Cabrera, which goes from 10,000 hectares to 90,974. The space was created, in 1991, "with the aim of protecting the flora, fauna, landscape and cultural values it contains" and now it becomes the largest park in the Western Mediterranean. The archipelago is located in the south of Mallorca and is composed of a main island and 18 smaller islands. Isabel Celaá, spokesperson of the Executive of Pedro Sanchez, has indicated in the press conference after the Council of Ministers that it is "a great step in the conservation of maritime ecosystems, the forgotten ones", which, in addition, "incorporates First time the open sea to our parks ".
Its limits increase by 80,773 hectares, with the inclusion of deep coral banks, areas of usual passage of cetaceans or large migrating fish. In the area, which includes depths of more than 2,000 meters, the existence of the loggerhead turtle and endangered shark species in the Mediterranean has been confirmed, such as the black, the shark, the blue shark and the mako shark, among others. The new surface provides important feeding areas for seabirds. Paíños, cormorants, gulls and shearwaters (the most threatened bird in Europe) will have more food and will avoid accidental catches in fishing gear, indicates the Ministry of Ecological Transition in a statement
The NGO Oceana applauds the decision of the Executive, "which comes after a decade of campaign and six expeditions of the international marine conservation organization." Marta Carreras, Oceana marine scientist, highlights "that this is the first time that Spain has given maximum legal protection to areas of cetaceans and large migrating fish, which will benefit dolphins, sperm whales, fin whales, bluefin tuna …". He adds that the deep coral reefs are also incorporated into the network of national parks, with endangered species such as the yellow tree coral and the rooster crest.
Oceana explains that within the protected area highlights the Fort d'en Moreu, a reef with gardens of gorgonians and forests of Mediterranean laminaria. Another unique enclave is the Émile Baudot escarpment, an abrupt fall of the seabed that extends for 200 kilometers and reaches 2,000 meters deep. In it they raise swordfish, bluefin tuna, white tuna and sperm whales. Apart from Cabrera, Oceana works to increase the sea surface of other Spanish national parks, such as obtaining the declaration of the first exclusively marine national park in El Hierro (Canary Islands) and the extension to the Doñana Sea (Andalusia).
"Today is a great day for the Mediterranean, one of the most punished seas on the planet. The Cabrera National Park houses an enormous diversity of ecosystems and marine life, and is an emblem of the submerged natural heritage that we must pass on to the following generations. Cabrera is a true Mediterranean in miniature" says Ricardo Aguilar, director of Research at Oceana Europe.