Areas under Regeneration

To achieve optimal results, marine regeneration must be based on science and embraced by the community.

By combining scientific marine research, community engagement and innovative educational initiatives Save The Med works towards the creation and effective management of a network of carefully selected Areas under Regeneration (AUR) in the Balearic sea.

A fragile Balearic sea

The Balearics Islands are one of the main tourist destinations in Europe. Their natural beauty attracts millions of visitors each year, swelling an already growing local population. Despite being home to some of the most abundant marine environments in the Mediterranean, the impact that expanding demographics, increasing mass tourism and human related activities such as overfishing, overconsumption and pollution have on the local marine environment is severe and has put fragile marine species and ecosystems in danger of decay.

As this development is expected to continue over time, the pressure from human-related activities on the marine environment - unless urgent action is taken - is highly likely to reach a point from which marine ecosystems will not be able to recover, eventually resulting in a collapse with inevitable consequences for all stakeholders.

The local government has put effort into increasing the number and area of marine protected areas (MPAs), with the positive results from El Toro marine reserve being one prime example of successful marine protection. Its positive effects on the fishing, yachting and tourism industry clearly demonstrate that economical growth is not only compatible with, but dependent upon, environmental care. 

To achieve effective and lasting marine regeneration, policy makers depend on science-based information as well as the voices and actions of informed and proactive local communities. This is where Save The Med plays an important role. 

A fragile Balearic sea

A Network of Areas under Regeneration

Save The Med aims to help develop a holistic, effective and well-managed network of carefully selected AURs. A properly designed network will have environmental, economic, cultural & social benefits for the Balearics. 

To identify the optimal locations for new AUR we work closely with a devoted team of experienced marine scientists, various scientific institutions, the local government and local communities. Our AUR-team conducts scientific surveys and studies possible new AUR sites, supplies survey data from dive expeditions and land based activities and creates proposals and outlines required for the development and management of new AUR. 

The development of well managed, science-based AUR will allow marine and land ecosystems to recover, eventually resulting in a significant increase in biodiversity and fish stocks in the Balearic Sea and ensuring the preservation of valuable and vulnerable species and ecosystems.

A Network of Areas under Regeneration

Sa Dragonera Blava project

While we all depend on healthy seas, the state of our seas also depends on us.

We believe that involvement of local communities is key to achieving lasting marine protection. Therefore, during 2019/2020, with support of the Marilles Foundation, Save the Med launched a new project called “Discover Sa Dragonera”.

The aim of the project is to strengthen the connection between people and nature and invite the communities of Sant Elm, Port Andratx, S'Arraco and Andratx participate and take ownership of a new, community-driven campaign that optimises the conservation of the Andratx coastline.

By highlighting all the benefits of well-managed marine areas for stakeholders, neighbours and visitors, and co-creating cultural and educational events and activities, the campaign aims to inspire and empower the broader community to actively care for the underwater environment surrounding their homes.

Follow Sa Dragonera Blava to learn more and get involved!

Sa Dragonera Blava project

The Formentor Project

Our most recent work towards Areas Under Regeneration (AUR) is taking place in the area of Pollença, in the north of Mallorca.

Through a holistic approach which considers the interconnectedness between marine and terrestrial ecosystems, we work towards new models of governance that favour participatory processes and engage local communities and stakeholders in the efficient and lasting care of the area.