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The reserve includes the inland strip between Cape Blanc, Cape Ses Salines and Cala Figuera of Santanyi and covers a total area of 22,332 ha. Its outer limit, both in the East and in front of Cabrera and Sa Rapita with an isobath of 50 m depth was established at first, in the order to create the reserve. Later in May 2003, the reserve was extended southwestwards because of the negative effect of trawling in the area, severely damaging marine resources and the state of populations, for example benthic fish.
Basically, the continental shelf that constitutes its seabed is covered by carbonate sediments (sands). Biological communities that develop in this substrate like the seagrass (Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa), the red calcareous algae communities (“maërl”), coral communities and mollusks (bivalves, gastropods), have not yet been accurately studied. Between the Cape of Ses Salines and Cala Figuera the existence of large areas of coastal seabeds that constitute the main fishing of raors (Xyrichthys novacula) and their associated species (Bothus pruning, Trachinus spp.) in Mallorca, is highlighted.
Given the enormous extent of this marine reserve, its regulations, that are still incomplete, are significantly different from other reserves of the Balearic Islands.
In the East of the marine reserve between Cala Figuereta and Punta des Baus, a No-Take Area (NTA) was established. It is characterized by the presence of seagrass meadows (Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa), where any kind of fishing, extraction of marine life, anchoring on the seagrass and scuba diving is forbidden. This special protection area is defined by the following boundaries (positions referred to the World Geodetic System WGS-84):
· Western limit: coastline between Cala Figuereta (39 ° 17.53 ‘N / 03 ° 05.78’ E) and the Punta des Baus (39 ° 18.13 ‘N / 03 ° 06.57’ E)
· Southern boundary line between Cala Figuereta (39 ° 17.53 ‘N / 03 ° 05.78’ E) and the geographic point 39 ° 16.83 ‘N / 03 ° 06.95’ E
· Eastern boundary: geographical line between points 39 ° 16.83 ‘N / 03 ° 06.95’ E and 39 ° 17.29 ‘N / 03 ° 07.58’ E
· Northern boundary line between Punta des Baus (39 ° 18.13 ‘N / 03 ° 06.57’ E) and the geographic point 39 ° 17.29 ‘N / 03 ° 07.58’ E
In the rest of the reserve artisanal fishing, commercial fishing (trawling) in depths greater than 50 m, recreational fishing and spearfishing with specific regulatory measures is permitted.