No more marinas can be built in the Balearics for at least the next three years, and marina extensions can not be larger than ten per cent of the existing area covered and all planning applications being considered have been frozen. Yesterday the Balearic government finally approved the new marina moratorium, which was due to have come into effect in April but was challenged by central government. The news, which will no doubt go down like a sinking ship with the local nautical industry, was announced by the Balearic Minister for Finance standing in for government spokesperson Antoni Garcia who is in Italy. Planning permission for new marinas will not be given and all the applications so far sumbitted, have been suspended. However, those ports entitled to coastal or environmental improvement status and plan to make maximum use of existing port space, are excluded from the freeze. The local Environment Ministry is currently working on improvement plans for the ports of Sóller, Portocolom, Andratx, Ciutadella, Fornell, Cala Molí in Minorca and Sant Antoni in Ibiza. The Ministry will use the three-year freeze to draw up new legislation for the Balearics' ports and marinas. There are 61 marinas in the Balearics, 43 in Majorca, nine in Minorca, eight in Ibiza and one in Formentera. The freeze will come as a blow to the nautical industry which has been trying for the past four years to persuade the local government to stop hampering the industry and help it expand, primarily by allowing more marinas, extra moorings and increased space for super yachts. The Balearics is in danger of losing the yachting industry because of lack of room and facilities to meet massive global demand.

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