Volunteers. Boats were removed from the water so that the seabed could be cleared of debris


Es Grau residents and boat-owners, aided by two volunteer divers, started working on Saturday to clear the seabed of ropes, buoys and old anchors in readiness for the reorganistion of berths and moorings which should be ready for use in May next year. The area has to be cleared by the end of the month or beginning of October so that work can start this week on the topographical part of the project and the installation of cables and anchoring devices on the seabed, leaving the buoys and pontoons to be put in place at the beginning of next season.

Boats were removed from the water and moved to the car park where they will be stored over winter. The items retrieved from the seabed were separated into three containers, one for buoys and plastic items, another for rope and a third for anything metallic, to be recycled later.

Pilot Scheme

The President of the Island Council, Marc Pons, and the Councillor for Land Planning, Joan Marqués, paid a visit to see the work in progress as the reorganisation of nautical activity in Es Grau, and also in Cala Canutells, will act as a pilot scheme to lay the foundations for the future Menorca Coastal Plan and will be used in other coastal areas such as Cala Molí or Port d'Addaia. Es Grau residents and sailing and fishing enthusiasts have, in general, expressed approval for the reorganisation project agreed upon by the Island Council, Coastal Authorities and the Association of Users of Moorings, although some regretted that the start of the project had not been delayed until the end of September so that fishermen could make the most of the 'raor' (pearly razorfish) season.

More applicants than places

The Association of Users of Moorings will be responsible for managing the berths and moorings as well as collecting the dues which will go towards the maintenance costs. A total of 254 applications for places were received and although 236 were originally conceded this figure had to be reduced to 221 as the berths closest to the quays had to be eliminated as there was insufficient depth of water. According to the association, ten of the 221 moorings will be reserved for vessels in transit and seven for professional fishermen, leaving 204 available for pleasure boats.

The association is awaiting a decision from the Demarcación de Costas regarding its petition to provide more berths and moorings in Cala en Vidrier. Initially, authorisation was withheld due to the presence of posidonia on the seabed, but the Island Council supported the petition pending an environmental report.

"Social Commitment"

The clearance work carried out by volunteers was described by Marc Pons as an example of "social commitment". However, one of the diving clubs invited to participate declined to do so for fear that its altruistic collaboration may later be misunderstood or regarded by professional companies involved in this line of work as an invasion of their territory. This concern is the result of the heavy fine imposed on the Aeroclub for their unpaid firewatch duties after being denounced by a professional company.