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Media Newspaper library Environment Last cruiseship of summer casts anchor away from protected seagrass

Last cruiseship of summer casts anchor away from protected seagrass

Creuer i es vedra premsaDaisee Aguilera, councillor of environment to the Formentera Council, announced her satisfaction today at «having successfully found a middle ground between cruiseship tourism and protection of posidonia seagrass». The day was marked by the arrival of the cruiseliner Hamburg, the last this summer to make a stop-over in Formentera. The ship's crew cast anchor at a distance from the posidònia oceànica prairie located in zone two of the la Savina port. Plans had originally posited zone two as the anchorage site for all the cruiseships stopping in Formentera.

Friday 10 July, Formentera Council (CiF) officials issued letters to the Balearic port authority and maritime authority, proposing alternatives to the system that had tourist passenger ships dropping anchor on the nearby seagrass field. The CiF recommended the ships anchor in an area forty metres deep one mile northwest of the prairie, free from posidonia.

Councillor Aguilera, who thanked the two agencies as well as trip organisers and ship captains, noted the maritime authority's collaboration authorising anchorage outside of the traditional port zone. She also gave thanks to Pitiusa de Ecologia, a group appointed by the Govern Balear to assist crews in anchor drops, «for their role in reducing harmful incursions on the posidonia fields, which have been recognised as world heritage sites by Unesco».

The Council took action after a cruiseship dropped anchor in la Savina's zone two at the beginning of July, causing damage to the protected species of seagrass. The councillor of the environment, highlighting the success of this year's changes, expressed her hope that in the coming years the system can be maintained. 

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