Nearly 100 boats took part in a demo off Formentor on Sunday, protesting at a central ministry of the environment decision to grant the company Hisambla permission to operate 125 buoys for mooring in the area. The protesters were complaining about having to pay to moor in the area, but sources from the coastal authority, a ministry department, said that the plans served two purposes: to control the number of boats in the area through the mooring buoys and to preserve the sea bed. But the protesters say that the company plans to charge a minimum of 1'300 pesetas a day to moor at the buoys. They also claim that the central government is infringing on the rights and responsibilities of the Balearic government, an opinion which has been echoed by the local minister of the environment. Damià Perelló, a spokesman for the demonstrators, compared the buoys to hiring out sunbeds on the beach, saying that putting the mooring buoys in place does not ban anyone from going to Formentor and anchoring there, just as people can go to the beach with their own sunshades. But at the entrance to Formentor by sea, there is a sign which warns sailors that it is forbidden to anchor in the area. On Sunday, the launch of the ticket collectors approached the demonstrators and started noting down registration numbers. Fernando Garrido, head of the coastal authority in the Balearics, lamented that there should be “people prepared to damage the sea bed for purely economical reasons,” and called on people to show common sense, pointing out that “the purpose of the buoys is to control mooring and preserve the meadows of Neptune grass, the fundamental habitat of the marine fauna.”

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