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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Agriculture, Livestock, Fishing & Hunting

Council, Govern join forces “to enhance fishing inspections”

sortida inspeccio pescaFormentera Council (CiF) cabinet office and rural affairs councillor Bartomeu Escandell held a meeting today with Joan Mercant, the director general of fishing of the regional government in Palma, at the head office of the CiF. Also in attendance were members of the Council's fishing inspection crew and workers on the Es Freus marine reserve of Eivissa and Formentera. Following the gathering the officials took part in a routine check of the island's waters.

The representatives of local and regional government agreed to grant employees of both administrations the ability to board inspection watercraft, allowing marine reserve staff and the Council's surveillance team to work together, “making fishing inspections more effective,” explained Councillor Escandell.

Director General Mercant said the change would “optimise resources,” while nevertheless affirming that the long-term goal was to increase the number of inspection crews patrolling the waters. For his part, Councillor Escandell expressed his hope the deal be renewed annually.

Formentera pigeon hunters get temporary go-ahead

In an effort to keep fauna populations in check and protect local farming production, the Formentera Council's Office of Rural Affairs has issued a special provision effecting Formentera's game preserves. The following five Sundays —from July 24 to August 21— from 7.30 to 11.30am and 5.30 to 9.00pm, the common wood pigeon may be hunted on authorised game preserves.

Pointing to a recent spike in the pigeon's numbers on Formentera, rural affairs councillor Bartomeu Escandell explained the aim of the move was to “protect crops threatened by these birds, especially on local vineyards”. The hunting techniques permitted will not change from those set out by current laws in force, and hunters' assignments to specific reserves will not be affected. Escandell said the measure was in tune with the Formentera Council's policy of rural renewal and pest control for species that impede it.

Farmers' co-op wraps up harvest of 56 hectares

Foto recolectoraThe Formentera Council's Office of Rural Affairs has reported that the local farmers' co-operative, la Cooperativa del Camp, has finished harvesting the plots of land that were donated to its Farmland Reserve project. Co-op workers mowed through a total of 49 hectares (ha); 26ha of barley in Sant Ferran, 7ha of oat in Sant Francesc and Porto Salé, and 26ha of wheat in La Mola.

The Cooperativa also harvested eight hectares that belong to Co-op members. Department head Bartomeu Escandell commented: “There's still plenty to be done. However, these initial steps are a sign of the work that's already under way to revive Formentera's primary sector and preserve our countryside”. The councillor also spoke about the unfortunate toll this year's drought has already taken the Co-op's maiden year.

However, Escandell hailed the shrewdness of farmers who this year opted for local cereals, which proved better suited to resist drought. Members of the Co-op pointed out that farmers who went with certified seeds lost their crops.

Local kids offered new round of introductory farming course

Horta Infantil x Eva Parey 007The Formentera Council's agriculture office has announced it will offer a new round of made-for-children courses in introductory agriculture. Participants must be between 3 and 12 and can be signed up from today, July 1 through July 8, either in person at the Citizens' Information Office (OAC) or online on the Formentera Council website. That was the announcement made today by rural affairs councillor Bartomeu Escandell, who shared his excitement at being able to propose a second round of the beginning level farming classes still in their first year.

The thirty students who attended classes this winter spent six weeks learning how to prepare a vegetable garden and use fertilisers as well as tips on sowing and planting. Councillor Escandell said another part of the course saw students getting a primer in the important role of the countryside and proper care for the environment.

Classes start July 12
The second round of classes starts July 12, with three groups each getting two hours of instruction per week. The workshop-style learning sessions will take place Tuesdays 6.30 to 8.30pm, Fridays at the same time and Saturday mornings from 9.30 to 11.30. The classes are free and will be given near Sant Francesc's sa Tanca Vella chapel in a space called l'Hort Infantil (“children's vegetable garden”). Children are asked to come wearing comfortable clothing and shoes. Students will receive telephone confirmation of acceptance from the CiF's Office of Agriculture once the signups period is over. An additional list will be created for children who prefer other possible dates to take the course.

Formentera lends hand to local livestock farmers feeling drought's burn

Ajudes ramadersBartomeu Escandell, councillor of the Formentera Council's Office of Rural Affairs, has announced that his department will give out 936 forty-kilo feedsacks to the island's stockbreeders “to offset the effects of the drought that has afflicted Formentera this year”.

The assistance will go to the 102 livestock farmers that compose the Formentera Stockbreeders' Association and have obtained their renewed 2016 trade cards. Distribution of the packs began last week. The process is overseen by the Formentera Farmers' Co-operative, which is contacting recipients to schedule drop-offs.

Formentera farmers have registered a total of 1,048 animals, for a total that includes goats, sheep and 115 pigs. This is the third time the Formentera Council distributes the aid — a bid to help farmers deal with the drought that has beset the island in recent years.

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