The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment has declared a four km section of the Ibicencan coast between S’Estanyol and Salt d’en Serrà, in the Santa Eulalia municipality, as a Special Area of Conservation. The area, known as Cap Martinet, has become the first Special Area of Conservation in the Pitiusa islands. This status will allow for a management plan and state laws for marine environment protection. The presence of Posidonia meadows and the sighting of sea turtles were the main points considered by the government when deciding on the protection of this section of coastline.
This declaration will mean that anchoring on Posidonia, land-based discharges, seismic airgun blasting and undersea cables will be banned in this area. The document states that “it is prohibited to anchor on seagrass, coral or maerl (Coralline red algae) beds, except on authorised points and then only when ensuring minimal impact on this habitat”. This new Special Area of Conservation comprises a Community Interest Area and a Special Protection Area for birds and will be exclusively owned and managed by the state.