The Department of Territory and Mobility has created a new unit comprising an inspector and two management technicians, to combat illegal yachts operating on the islands.

The news came following calls to curb the many illegal moorings that are blighting the ilsand’s coastal area, and the proliferation of illegal marine leisure companies involved in the charter of boats, and also increasingly, the use of boats for accommodation.

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The announcement was made in a meeting by the department head, Marc Pons, with representatives of the nautical sector.

The minister reported that actions for infractions had risen quickly, and indicated they were proving effective. In the whole of 2017, there were only 8 cases opened. In 2018 this had risen to 25. But in 2019 there are already 68 cases presenting.

Responses from the industry were positive. President of the Balearic Boat Charter association, José María Jiménez, said that already the more rigorous approach adopted by the authorities had reduced the level of illegal charter operators from the 40% they were estimated to hold in 2017 to around 25% now. This is reflected in the official register of charter vessels which has increased from 1,462 in 2012 to 2,860 in 2019.

The new Police unit will use various means to detect pirate operators, including the monitoring of advertising and social media.