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Formentera enthusiastic about playbook ahead under Maritime Transport decree

foto decret transport maritim 2The Formentera Council welcomes a series of proposed measures from the regional government that were laid out yesterday as part of an unveiling by two administration officials—minister of territory, energy and mobility Marc Pons and head of ports and airports Xavier Ramis—of an order known as the Maritime Transport decree.

CiF president Jaume Ferrer called the order “a crucial step on the road to definitive approval” for a measure aimed at “addressing an issue that has held the attention of the Formentera Council for three legislative terms already”. Ferrer congratulated the Balearic ministry and directorate general of territory (a field often called “spatial planning” in Europe) on the success of their work with Formentera's mobility department in building consensus around the decree's overarching vision for the island's maritime transport, and confided: “We're looking forward to the prospect of the decree's speedy completion and adoption”.

Maritime Transport decree
The decree has its roots in Llei 11/2010 (November 2), a piece of legislation concerning maritime transport empowering the Govern balear to dictate regulations and administrative provisions necessary to assuring regular transport in tune with the mobility needs of people in the region. The legislation also regulates transport associated with leisure and tourism, and gives legal force to the scheduling and frequency of passages between islands as well as requirements of guaranteed service provision.

Identifying the route linking the La Savina (Formentera) and Eivissa ports as a “strategic line” and a “maritime route in the public interest”, the decree affords special attention to the case of Formentera and the features that amplify residents' perceived remoteness. The idea is to accommodate Formentera travellers whose travel plans, whether early morning or late night, necessarily involve passage through Eivissa.

CiF mobility secretary Rafael González welcomed the new order on the grounds that it addresses many pleas voiced locally. “Early-bird and red-eye ferry journeys between Formentera and Eivissa were high on that list”, said González, “along with the need to regulate sea excursions and guaranteeing universal access to them”. The secretary applauded the Govern's commitment to finding solutions for those sticking points. “The proposed formulas will be reviewed once the documents are made available to ensure they address and resolve the concerns of Formentera residents", he said.

A period for public comments on the order, beginning today, means that contributions will be accepted from the distinct entities, groups and institutions with ties to maritime transport.

Cros de Formentera

foto cros 2018The Formentera Council's sports office reports that Sunday November 18 will mark the season's first cross-country, or cros, running meet. The race will play out on the trails of Ses Illetes. There will be intermittent restrictions on circulating vehicle traffic between 10.30am and 1.30pm on Sunday.

The day will also feature a school cross-country meet. Lower categories will compete between 10.30am and 12.30pm, and the centrepiece is a 5.2K run kicking off at 12.30pm. Participants can register on site until thirty minutes before the start. Some 160 runners are expected to compete in both modalities.

The Formentera Council, Grup Esportiu Espalmador and Federació Balear d'Atletisme are organising the event. Baleària transport company is offering runners from Eivissa 50% off the price of their ferry ticket, and a free bus will link La Savina and Ses Illetes, departing between 9.45am and 10.00am and returning between 1.45pm and 2.00pm.

Formentera's Justice of the Peace unveils new look

foto jutjat de pau 2The Formentera Council announces that this week marks the christening of the local Justice of the Peace's new office space at 120 baixos, carrer Pla de Rei, next to the post office.

Islanders can take care of all the same proceedings at the new space, like settlements, handling of notices, citations, requisitions and summons, not to mention delegating specific tasks to third partiers, as in the cases of letters rogatory from other courts or tribunals in civil and penal cases.

For communications needs, a video-conferencing service is also available, particularly for investigators and witnesses involved in cases with other Spanish courts. Office staff also provide relevant forms and consulting on the range of formalities relating to courts and the Spanish ministry of justice.

The office also serves as a Civil Registry for births, marriages, deaths or other events; processing of marriage requests; civil-union ceremonies; formalities required for births not registered during the established time period; transfers of birth and marriage certificates; information updates; name changes; delivery of proofs of identity and civil status, etc.

Formentera's Justice of the Peace (Jutjat de la Pau) opens from 9.00am to 1.30pm, with additional hours available as necessary. An on-site procedural consultant is empowered to act as a law clerk for the court of justice, a justice of the peace, and a substitute justice for public hearings which require the presence and imprimatur of such an individual.

Recourse to the justice of peace is not only fast and free of charge, using it often allows individuals to forego the drawn-out and exorbitant procedures typical of other courts of law, such as by reaching amicable agreements for small claims.

Formentera looks ahead to new marine reserve

foto-punta-de-sa-creuSpread over 1,059 hectares, Punta de sa Creu marine reserve is due for approval in committee this Friday

The Balearic ministry of environment, agriculture and fishing has drafted an order creating a new, 1,059-hectare marine reserve called Punta de sa Creu in an expanse known by the same appellation between two other headlands, or “points”—Punta de la Fernanda and Punta des Far—that flank a rocky crag downhill from La Mola. Expected to pass review in a Friday November 16 meeting of the administration's “governing council” (Consell de Govern), the provision would give the stretch of coastline, deemed invaluable by ecologists and fishermen alike, special protected status. Not only is the area, as scientific studies suggest, home to a wealth of marine biodiversity, it is also crucial for the small-scale operations of local fishermen. As many as 23 distinct benthic habitats have been tallied there as well, such as posidonia seagrass meadows, photophilic algae and coralligenous assemblages cleaved upon hard substrate.

Visiting the site of the future reserve, the environment, agriculture and fishing minister of the region extolled the virtues of such safeguards and drew attention to the Balearic administration's track record on the subject—not only designating new expanses with protected status but bolstering patrols of the areas, too. Vicenç Vidal explained the role of the so-called “sustainable tourism levy” in bankrolling expansions to reserve surveillance personnel, which have gone from 7 to 14 in the last three years and are expected to hit a regional total of 17 with the green-lighting of a similar reserve at Tagomago. The planned reserve at Punta de sa Creu will have one patrol person as well as a dedicated boat.

The new reserve was advocated by a range of social collectives and public agencies, including the Formentera Council. To Jaume Ferrer, president of the local administration, Punta de sa Creu is a “promise that will be delivered on during this legislative session”. He also underscored the significance of the local fishermen's involvement in the process.

The surrounding area is a familiar backdrop for a host of activities directly related to the island's fishing resources. The time-honoured practices involve at least eight kinds of tackle and métiers—low-impact fishing boats typical in Eivissa and Formentera waters. The area of coastline is an extremely popular destination for recreational fishing practices—whether at the surface (volantí and curricà) or underwater—and tourists keen on scuba-diving. Regulation of such activities is a particularly important part of ensuring they can continue to accommodate biodiversity and the marine resources that live there.

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