Last year’s illegal boat party on Deer Island opened a debate, and at the same time a war, over the presence of recreational boats in sensitive natural areas that are protected under different types of protection. This summer, the debate has widened, and the concentrations of boats in different areas of the regional coast have become the focus of criticism from local residents and environmental organisations, but also from local councils.
Last weekend, for example, the beaches of Veneziola, in La Manga del Mar Menor, served as an anchoring point for dozens of boats. An unscheduled gathering, supposedly, in which more than a hundred people celebrated the last days of August with music, drinks and in the water. The residents’ association of the north of La Manga denounced these events, a protest joined by ANSE, which criticised the damage that these parties are doing to an environment protected by the Natura 2000 Network.
The head of maritime navigation in the Region, taking stock of the problems detected with the boats, points out that this summer has been “normal” in terms of incidents. He acknowledges the crowds of boats in Veneziola, called by the shelter offered by the area due to the winds that have blown in recent days.
Villar understands the complaints from neighbours, but clarifies that anchoring boats near the coast is permitted unless it lasts more than 24 hours or they use ‘dead’ or concrete blocks. “Citizens may see these agglomerations of boats as a pressure on the coast, but they are not prohibited,” he stresses.
The maritime captain also admits to complaints such as those from the Águilas Town Council, which consulted on the legality of concentrations of boats close to the coast, something which has occurred, for example, in the area around Isla del Fraile.