Environment

Marine Reserve of Freus

Freus marine reserve of Ibiza and Formentera

General features

The Freus Marine Reserve of Ibiza and Formentera was set up in May 1999 within the fisheries management policy of the Balearic Islands Government's Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, with the aim of protecting ecosystems, stopping the degradation of habitats and recovering and repopulating with threatened species and areas.

The reserve includes shallow areas to other areas more than 60 metres deep, where we can find a great variety of underwater landscapes, including the posidonia prairies, which should be highlighted (World Heritage Site according to UNESCO). These prairies are present in nearly all parts of the reserve, up to a depth of 35 metres.

Location, position and dimensions.

The Freus marine reserve of Ibiza and Formentera lies between the islands of Ibiza and Formentera. It covers the southern end of the island of Ibiza, the north of the neighbouring island of Formentera and the marine space separating the two of them.

The marine strip between Ibiza and Formentera is dotted with little islets (Porcs, Penjats, Ses Espalmador, Castaví, etc.) which are the remains of when both islands were joined in a long-ago geological landscape. The coasts and bed of the marine reserve form one of the few well-preserved corners of the Mediterranean.

The Freus marine reserve of Ibiza and Formentera is marked by a series of markers and points on the coast, making an approximate rectangle formed by:

De Punta des Jondal (Ibiza) to Punta de la Gavina (Formentera), from there to Punta Prima (Formentera) and ending at Punta de sa Mata (Ibiza).

The Freus marine reserve of Ibiza and Formentera has an area of 13,617ha at sea. What we have, therefore, is the second largest protected marine area in the Spanish Mediterranean, after Mallorca's Migjorn reserve.

Ban on underwater fishing

Underwater fishing is prohibited throughout the reserve, without exception.

Limitations on diving and submarine activity in the core reserve

The special protection area or core reserve is to the east of the Ses Espardell islet. It measures 4km2 and is marked by a series of markers at the following positions:

  • l = 38º 48´41´´N L = 01º 27´54´´E
  • l = 38º 48´41´´N L = 01º 29´23´´E
  • l = 38º 46´53´´N L = 01º 28´54´´E
  • l = 38º 46´53´´N L = 01º 29´33´´E

In this entire area, submerging by boats, underwater fishing, sea fishing in all its forms and diving with independent suits is totally prohibited.

Need for a permit to be able to dive in the reserve, and where to get it

Nowadays, in order to be able to dive in the marine reserve it is necessary to obtain authorisation issued by the Balearic Islands Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

This permit allows diving within the whole reserve, except the special protection area (core reserve).

It is entirely free of charge and valid for a natural year, that it, it expires on 31 December every year.

It can be obtained by calling the following numbers:

  • 971176114 – 971166104
  • Fax: 971176157

To process it, a photocopy of your identity card or passport and diving qualification must be sent by fax.

Photographs of Underwater photography (Click on an image to enlarge)

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