Spanish National Park expands to become largest protected marine area in Western Mediterranean

THE largest marine national park in the Western Mediterranean opened off the coast of a Balearic island on Friday after a decade-long push to increase protection for the area.

The Cabrera park, south of Mallorca, covers an area of 90,794 hectares, having started as a joint land and sea protected area in 1991. It enjoys the maximum level of legal protection for a natural space under Spanish law.

Ricadro Aguilar, of the Oceana Europe environmental NGO, said the opening of the Cabrera National Park was a “great day” for the Mediterranean.

“The Cabrera National Park is home to an enormous amount of marine life and ecosystems so it is an emblem of the submerged natural heritage that we must pass on to future generations,” Aguilar said.

“It is truly a Mediterranean in miniature,” he added.

The opening of the Cabrera National Park increases the size of the ocean part of current protected area from 4 per cent to 23 per cent.

The area is home to marine life including sperm whales, dolphins, coral, swordfish and bluefin tuna.

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Joe Gerrard

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