Listen, co-ordinate, inspire action
We co-ordinate local effort and funding power to derive the most effective means of conserving the Balearic Sea. To do this we encourage dialogue between experts and organisations that tackle the challenges faced by the Balearics’ marine environment, and help forge connections between those best placed to carry out projects and those who can fund them.Read more
Robust information and a solid scientific base are essential for planning effective action to improve our marine and coastal habitats. Despite the large amount of information available about marine conservation generally, there are still gaps in knowledge specific to the Balearics. Marilles is funding research to fill these gaps, enabling local organisations to share information and create a scientific consensus.
To find solutions, we have created multidisciplinary working groups we call LABs - one for each of the priority areas identified by Marilles. Meetings of each group take place on all islands. The starting point for the work of the LABs is a mutually-agreed analysis of the current situation, its causes and our goals. All groups are open to any interested person or organisation that agrees with our approach and shares our goal.
When funders join forces, great things can happen. Marilles is working with other foundations to coordinate efforts across the Mediterranean and grow the available funds dedicated to marine conservation. We organise regular meetings with funders and potential donors to pool information about the current context and inspire co-ordinated action.
Our current priorities
Marine protected areas
Around 20% of the Balearics’ waters are under some form of legal protection. Among those are Caberera, the largest national park of the Western Mediterranean, and 12 fisheries reserves. Although these have had a positive impact, in most areas they are delivering below their potential. We seek to raise the ambition and impact of existing MPAs to deliver higher levels of biodiversity and more fish, reaping the associated economic benefits.
Professional fisheries continue to be one of the greatest pressures on the marine environment of the Balearics. Yet the professional fishing sector itself is in decline. Locally, it is composed mainly of small-scale vessels, many of which recognise the benefit of fishing reserves and have actively campaigned for them. We believe that, with some changes, the Balearic fishing fleet could become the most sustainable in the Mediterranean and a model for the region.
Research commissioned by Marilles shows there is a strong demand for marine environmental education in the Balearics. Despite a broad range of organisations offering related activities, provision is very far from meeting opportunity. In particular, there are few resources for children to interact with and learn about the marine environment. Both the tourism and nautical sectors show a growing interest in becoming more involved in provision, indicating enormous potential for change.
What we need
The change we want to see
If we look to the Balearics in 2030, we can envision healthy marine and coastal ecosystems, with abundant sea life and fish stocks contributing to an economically prosperous region. This vision is within our reach if we achieve change in three key areas, described below.
Effective marine protected areas
A robust, well-managed network of Marine Protected Areas delivering higher levels of biodiversity and increased fish populations, bringing associated socio-economic benefits.
Sustainable and low-impact fisheries
Professional fishermen adopting low-impact gear and sustainable practices to make a decent living without degrading the environment they depend on. Locals and tourists enjoying recreational fishing at sustainable levels.
Balearic society and its key economic sectors recognising the marine environment as critical to their success. Hotels, diving centres, nautical clubs and the local population taking increased action to preserve this crucial asset.