Oceana warning over Balearics dredging

26 Mar 2013
Mahon harbour. Credit: Carles Garcia-Roca, CC BY 2.5 ES

Mahon harbour. Credit: Carles Garcia-Roca, CC BY 2.5 ES

Global ocean advocacy group, Oceana, has applauded the High Public Prosecutor of the Balearic Islands decision to stop dredging works at Mahón harbour, Menorca, until non-compliance issues are addressed.

The group wants assurances that the dredging will only be undertaken with full guarantees in terms of health, environment, tourism and fisheries for the Menorca Island.

Xavier Pastor, executive director of Oceana in Europe, said: “We will keep on working so the polluted muds are not dumped into the sea. These muds must be processed on land so that they are decontaminated with full safety and control measures.”

Oceana argues that the best way to mark the 20th anniversary of Menorca’s Biosphere Reserve status is by demonstrating environmental awareness and not harming the local environment.

Its requested that the Port Authority of the Balearics (APB) prove that the works for dredging Mahón harbour comply with the London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter.

This convention, which entered into force in Spain in 2006, requires an examination of waste management options including re-use of waste, recycling, destruction of hazardous materials and treatment to reduce or withdraw hazardous materials. Dumping is only considered as a last resort, after these alternatives.

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