The Balearics should be considered a Sensitive Marine Area

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Numerous ships can cause pollution
Numerous ships can cause pollution Credit: Corey Seeman flickr

THE Balearics should be considered a Sensitive Marine Area due to volume of commercial shipping.

The Balearic Government has urged the Government of Spain to support on an international level its’ proposal to declare the waters around the Balearic Islands a particularly sensitive marine area (ZMES).

Based on precedent in other parts of the world such a decision would include measures to prevent, reduce and control marine pollution by ships.

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The Governing Council Agreement has therefore encouraged the State Executive to study and submit a proposal in this regard to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the specialised agency of the United Nations that promotes safe, environmentally sound, efficient and sustainable maritime transport.

The International Maritime Organization fulfils this mission by adopting standards of maritime protection and safety, efficient navigation and the prevention and control of pollution caused by ships, as well as by considering related legal matters and the effective implementation of instruments. of this organization so that they are applied universally and uniformly.

In this context, the Mediterranean Sea is one of the busiest sea routes in the world and is the gateway between Europe and Asia via the Suez Canal.


Consequently, the waters surrounding the Balearic archipelago play a very important role within international maritime transport that can have an unfavourable impact on the marine and coastal environment and human health.

A particularly sensitive marine area, according to the resolution adopted in 2005 by the International Maritime Organization, is one that should be subject to special protection, in accordance with the measures adopted by this United Nations body, in attention to its importance for the recognized ecological, socio-economic or scientific characteristics, if these characteristics may be damaged as a result of international maritime activities.

The Balearic Government considers that the Spanish Government should submit an application to the IMO to have the Balearics declared as having particularly sensitive marine areas, in accordance with international regulations.


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