The Balearic nautical industry yesterday repeated its call for the local government to give the green light for more moorings to be built with the region's marinas “practically full.” President of the Balearic Association of Marinas, Bartomeu Bestard, yesterday urged the Balearic government to reconsider its position on marinas and allow more moorings to be installed. Bestard explained that there are 18.927 moorings in the Balearics, 12.899, 68 per cent, are owned by the region's 35 yacht clubs and the 15 marinas which are members of the association. Of the remaining 6.028, 2.376 are controlled by the Port Authority, 3.081 by local authorities and 571 are privately owned. While Bestard has yet to receive any official figures, he said that this month, there are hardly any moorings for recreational vessels available anywhere in the Balearics. He said that last month was slightly different, with nautical activity down by five per cent “because of the bad weather.” Bestard explained that the yacht clubs and marinas are only managing to meet demand by using a mooring rotation system, but the industry is facing the annual problem of being unable to meet the huge demand for moorings in the Balearics and is now worried that with competition on the rise in the Mediterranean, skippers, charter companies and yacht owners may look elsewhere. Bestard said authorities's stance on marinas is highly contradictory, pointing that on the one hand the government wants to attract a more quality and big spending tourism industry - such as the nautical market, but at the same time will not allow the nautical industry to expand. Bestard also explained that as people in the Balearics have become wealthier, there are far more local boat owners but there is nowhere for them to moor their yachts. The association president said that he is not suggesting that the Balearics “build a port on every corner, just be allowed to expand existing facilities.” He also said it is unfair for boat owners who have to drop anchor in bays or off the coast, unable to access marina facilities, because there is no room. Association figures show that the nautical industry is worth nearly 45'000 million pesetas a year to the Balearics, directly employs 666 people and indirectly employs a further 5.000. But despite the fact the figures speak for themselves, the association and the industry as a whole is growing increasingly frustrated that its calls for more moorings and support from the government are falling on deaf ears. Unless the authorities stop hindering the nautical industry, the local economy may see some of those 45'000 million pesetas being spent elsewhere.

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