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Formentera lifeguards' first 'torxada'

Foto socorristesThe lifeguard service of the Formentera Council wishes to announce that Sunday, September 17 at 6.30pm, the island's coastal caretakers will meet on Es Pujols beach for the team's first ever torxada. The evening of cameraderie will see the lifeguards putting their swimming, towing and racing skills to the test, along with other good, clean fun. At sundown, they'll take to the water, equipped with flaming torxes (“torches”).

Team chief Marco Antonio Lage says it's about “coming together as a team as we prepare to say our first goodbyes to those leaving already”. The whole island, says Lage, is encouraged “to check out the spectacle, and get to know our service a little better”.

High season for Formentera's beach rescue service extends from June 15 to September 15. During that period, the service employs 24 lifeguards to hold watch over the island's waters and ensure swimmer safety. Beaches are patrolled May 1 to October 31. September 15-30, there are 15 lifeguards to surveil Formentera's coastline; September 30-October 31, a group of 10 remain at the season's close, as at its start.

Formentera ramps up fishing patrols

rsz raorIn an statement issued this morning, the CiF president's office announced the start last weekend of intensified patrols to tackle fishing of the pearly razorfish, or raor in Catalan. Surveillance by boat, land and, for the first time this year, drones is being deployed in the crackdown.

From Friday to Sunday, surveillance crews of the Formentera Council teamed up with agents of Els Freus Marine Reserve to educate fishermen about the rules that govern raor fishing and the areas in which its capture is permitted. According to Bartomeu Escandell, secretary of the president's office and the rural affairs department, the administration's inspector has already issued two pleasure boats citations for fishing in areas where it is prohibited.

Escandell pointed out that catches of raor are capped at fifty, per person per day, and the daily per-boat limit is three hundred. Fishing prohibitions enter into force from April 1 to August 31 as a way to ensure female fish have sufficient time to spawn.

Council rubber-stamps creation of governing code of ethics and transparency

Foto votacio codi etic agost 2017Earlier today members of the Formentera Council sat down for the administration's September plenary session and voted unanimously to draft and review a code of ethics for good governance and transparency.

First, the measure aims to insure that “principles of efficiency, impartiality, austerity and responsibility underpin the work of public servants”. It was created, in that vein, to “increase the administration's transparency and guarantee public access to information”. The adopted text was presented by PSOE and PP.

Sònia Cardona, the CiF's secretary of community involvement and transparency, took up the mission with gusto, proclaiming, “I think it's a one of a kind opportunity to spotlight our administration's commitment to transparency and good governance”. This year, the crusade will be one of the most preeminent in Cardona's department.

Holiday season 2018: Sant Jaume and Sant Francesc
The day's session saw a unanimous 'yes' vote for a proposal on scheduling holidays in 2018. The celebrations will include Sant Jaume feast on July 25, a date which is unchanged, and Sant Francesc's once-a-year bash on December 3. Unanimous support was also received by the proposal to ratify appointments to the island's Council of Entities.

Also passed with 'yes' votes from every party except the PP was a socialist measure calling for coherence in respecting human rights, difference and LGBTI individuals. The vote came in response to—and rejection of—a campaign by the Balearic group “Hazte Oir”.

Fresh push for asbestos removal
Lastly, the PP received support in urging asbestos to be removed across Formentera homes and private properties. The goal of the initiative, much like a similar one four years ago, is to support efforts to remove the harmful component and educate the public about the importance of doing so.

Official statement
In the wake of the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, the plenary also brought approval for a cross-party condemnation of the “horrific terrorism that took place August 17”.

In a repudiation of terrorism, the text adopted by council members denounces the “savage and bloody attack on our neighbours and so many others with no regard for birthplace, beliefs or religion.

“We wish consolation for the families and friends of the victims and for the injured a quick recovery,” reads the statement, which goes on to applaud “the excellent work of law inforcement—particularly agents of the Mossos d'Esquadra—as well as sanitation services and volunteers”. “This will not succeed in making our freedom- and democracy-loving country stumble,” says the text, “Only with culture, tolerance and democracy will the peoples of the world peacefully coexist”. It closes with a declaration: “We are united in this fight. We are not afraid”.

Visiting carabinieri agents bid farewell

Foto comiat carabinierisEarlier today in a conference hall of the Formentera Council a farewell send-off was held for two Italian carabinieri stationed on the island this summer as part of a joint effort with local Guardia Civil forces. The law enforcement officials stressed the importance of such collaboration, which, according to Antonio del Fresno, Guardia Civil commander on Eivissa, has been “very impactful”. CiF president's office secretary Bartomeu Escandell gave thanks to the agents for their now three-year commitment on the island. In summer, a considerable number of the tourists Formentera receives are Italian.

Drones enlisted to patrol Formentera’s coasts for illegal fishing

Foto presentacio inspeccio pesca amb dronsThe Formentera Council's surveillance services are announcing the rollout of coastal drone patrols to complement fishing checks. The goal, says Bartomeu Escandell, chief of the president's office and secretary of rural affairs, “is to leverage low-cost surveillance technology to take aim at illegal fishing on our coasts”. The new service will complement the conventional patrols already carried out by the Council's fleet.

An outside specialist firm is being brought in to oversee the inspections, which will include 15 monthly flights. The checks, conducted by Drones Mallorca for €11,205 before tax, began July 15 and will continue through December 31.

Each patrol will require a report including photo evidence and write-ups of possible offending actions. Any legal action to follow—and the specific authorities to be concerned—will be determined according to where illegal activity took place. The new technology can be harnessed to guarantee that both professional and recreational fishermen abide by existing rules. Next week will see the start of a push to monitor raor fishing.

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