Xàbia plans increased protection for its coast with more buoys and surveillance

A four-year contract worth almost 684,000 euros will seek to ease pressure of En Caló and Portitxol

Wednesday 28th April 2021 – PRESS RELEASE with Mike Smith

Xàbia Council has put out to tender the contract for the installation and maintenance of the yellow buoys marking off the town’s beaches, coves and sea caves over the next four years. The contract has an initial budget of 683,655.87 euros and follows the guidelines of a project that, with the authorization of the Coastal Provincial Service (‘Costas‘), aims to increase protection of the environment, especially in areas which have seen an increase in tourist pressure in recent years, as well as adapt beaches to maximise their use for bathers beyond the high season.

One of the spaces that will be significantly protected will be the environment around the island of Portitxol, particularly the corridor known as ‘El Freu del Portitxol’, the shallow channel between the island and the Barraca cove, which will be subject to regulations not only to protect bathers but also an area of great archaeological interest, including the ‘Route of the Anchors‘. In recent years, several boats have come unstuck whilst trying to access the Barraca cove through this narrow channel, including at least one vessel that was severely damaged and sank.

The plan details the type of buoys that run along the entire coast of Xàbia and will include mooring points for vessels in the more popular zones to avoid the damaging effects of anchoring directly onto the vulnerable seabed. Areas which have come under great pressure in recent years include Cala Blanca and Cala Sardinera as well L’Escull de San Antoni, which like the cove of En Caló, has seen a marked increase in visitors over the past few years.

In addition, the sea caves of Llop Marí and Órguens in the Cabo de la Nao zone, and Xiulador in the area of Cap de Sant Antoni will be marked off with buoys to deter access by motor vessels, whilst the beaches of La Grava, Monañar I and II, Arenal, Cala Blanca, Cala Sardinera, Cala Barraca, Cala Ambolo and Cala de la Granadella will also be marked off with buoys to protect bathers. Divers will also be protected with marked off diving points along with islands, islets, caves and headlands.

Navigation channels will be marked with buoys for access by vessels as well as paddle surf, kayaking, etc. whilst there will be recreational floating platforms installed at La Grava, Arenal and Cala de la Grandella, along with mooring points for safety and rescue vessels.

One of the new features of the contract is the installation of permanent bouys at La Grava for swimming, Cala Blanca and Cala Sardinera for mooring and access for kayaks, etc. Between Easter and November, buoys will be in position at diving points, for mooring in En Caló and signalling through the Freu del Portitxol, whilst the rest of the buoys will be in position from May to November.

The new contract includes a light boat surveillance service, active from June 15th to September 15th, to ensure that the buoys are respected and used correctly.