The nautical sector requests authorities to combat the sewage discharge into the sea
A few months ago, AENIB, representing the Balearic nautical companies, along with 10 other representative entities from the sector, established the Federation of Nautical Associations and Activities for Environmental Issues (FANMED). This federation serves as the sole intermediary of the sector in environmental matters when dealing with government bodies. Its additional mission is to coordinate and raise awareness among society about the efforts and actions that various actors within the nautical sector are undertaking to protect the environment.
One of the initiatives that FANMED is promoting is the "Declaration 0VE (cero vertidos) - Zero Discharge for a New Water Governance." Through this declaration, the nautical sector urges the Government of the Balearic Islands and all relevant public agencies responsible for water management to implement technical purification models that enhance water treatment at wastewater treatment plants (EDAR – Estación Depuradora de Aguas Residuales). This will help reduce land-to-sea sewage discharges. They also call for a commitment to not increase the number of sewage outfalls along the Balearic coast. Any investments in existing wastewater treatment plants should focus on water reuse rather than modifications to continue discharging inadequately treated water into the sea.
"In a community like ours, where water is a scarce resource, it is necessary for both environmental reasons and out of necessity that water management undergoes significant changes, especially when climate change is affecting water resources, leading to increasingly severe drought periods," notes FANMED. This aligns with directives such as the Water Framework Directive, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Bathing Water Quality Directive, and point 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals. Furthermore, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) includes a reference to "innovative governance" in one of its Water Governance Principles. This suggests that we must collectively promote practices that prevent water wastage through discharges and avoid contributing to the slow demise of seas like the Mediterranean.
"In other words, the focus is decisively on preventing land-to-sea discharges and utilizing purified water. Currently, purification techniques have made significant advancements, making it possible in many cases to avoid the use or installation of sewage outfalls in coastal areas," highlights FANMED in the 0VE Declaration, emphasizing that “today, no one doubts the negative impact of discharges on marine ecosystems.”
"This project was born alongside FANMED, as the water issue was one of the topics we discussed in the federation's early meetings," explains Gabriel Dols, president of FANMED. "It is a cross-sectional issue that affects us all and is of paramount importance to society as a whole. That's why this declaration is not just for entities linked to the nautical sector; we encourage all entities, companies, and individuals who are aware of the importance of the water cycle to endorse it," he adds. "When we have a significant number of endorsements and believe the time is right, we will present the declaration to the Balearic government, which, with its new Ministry of the Sea and Water Cycle, we believe is sensitized to this matter," he concludes.
Currently, more than 30 entities have joined this manifesto, including associations, companies from various sectors, yacht clubs, marinas, and other organizations. AENIB, as a founding member of FANMED and representative of the Balearic nautical companies, encourages its members, other companies in the sector and society as a whole to support this initiative.