A large number of cruises of enormous sizes are arriving to the port of Palma each day, some of them with more than 7000 passengers. There is no mesaured data about the impact this generates, and additionally, these numbers may increase, since there is no limit on the number of cruises that can dock here.
The proposal resulting from the study of the impact of noise and pollution from cruise ships that the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB) and the Balearic Port Authority (APB) have recently agreed upon seems a start, but we feel they are missing more measures. There are no studies about the carrying capacity of the island and this year has been one of the years with the most tourism. Mallorca is beginning to have serious problems with their water supply, the Balearic Islands is one of the communities with more water consumption per capita and the tourism is going to increase without any measures of control.
Amics de la Terra requested to the APB to implement measures in a letter sent this past June, and in it we also requested a meeting that has still not occurred due to lack of response.
Amics de la Terra considers it urgent to set a limit on the number of large ships that visit us simultaneously, that bring the center of Palma to a halt. They are highly polluting during their trip as well as during their stay in the port given that they need to keep the motors running to produce electricity. They also generate an enormous amount of solid and liquid waste that is left here, and it is becoming difficult to provide them with fresh water that they need given our already scarce resources.
The number of cruises that visit Palma grows each year, with an increase of 20% in 2015 compared to 2014. It is predicted to grow even more in 2016, due mainly to the complicated situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and Northern Africa.
In addition to controlling the emissions and noise that the UIB and APB’s study proposes, Amics de la Terra urges the relevant authorities to make a study of the island’s carrying capacity and to limit the number of ships that can dock on the same day. It would also be necessary for the population of Palma to give their opinions on the suitability of cruise ship tourism in addition to the conventional tourism, for it is are causing citizens to feel somewhat overwhelmed when visiting the city of Palma.