Spain: APB Explains Mahon Port Dredging Plan
The Port Authority of the Balearic Islands explained the details of the Environmental Watch Plan for the dredging of the Port of Mahon to the Sant Lluís Town Council.
The Plan ensures that the town’s coastline and the Isla del Aire’s SCI (Site of Community Importance) will not be affected.
A group of APB experts provided the Minorcan town council delegation, headed by its Mayor, Cristóbal Coll, with comprehensive information about the Environmental Watch Plan which is already being implemented in the areas to be dredged and the subsequent controlled discharge. The Plan includes supervising and monitoring water quality in the dredging areas and in the waters near the discharge area, ensures that the discharge will be carried out in the demarcated area in favourable weather conditions, and continuous monitoring of biological communities and the Posidonia oceanica meadows near the coast to guarantee they are not affected.
The Environmental Watch Plan has three phases. A first pre-dredging phase, which is already underway, a second phase during the dredging and a third phase a year after the dredging and discharge have finished. During the second phase, water transparency will be monitored daily and its quality will be assessed weekly using water column analysis and the inspection of sensitive seabed areas at strategic points along the coastline. A specifically designed web site will enable regular monitoring of the results obtained in the environmental watch and supervision process. A warning plan has also been devised in order to take palliative measures or stop the dredging should this be necessary.
In addition, the Directorate General of Fishery Resources and Aquaculture, which comes under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, has published a report which confirms its approval of the Port of Mahon dredging project “as long as the Environmental Watch Plan is strictly complied with”. According to the Environment Ministry, the project has also been approved by the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, the Balearic Islands Government’s Directorate General of Rural and Marine Affairs and the Mahon Fishing Guild.
Press Release, March 25, 2013