Red Eléctrica de España and the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA CSIC-UIB) will continue to work in 2016 on the experimental planting of Posidonia oceanica from fragments collected and cultured under laboratory conditions. Recently, the second planting in the Santa Ponsa Bay in Majorca was completed, and in the near future, the second planting in the Talamanca Bay in Ibiza will be carried out.
These planting works extend those already undertaken at both locations in June 2015 and are the result of the collaboration between these entities on a pioneering scientific project for the recovery of Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows, an ecosystem of high ecological value for the Mediterranean.
In 2013, Red Eléctrica and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), of which IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB) is a member, signed an agreement aimed at research regarding the cultivation, under laboratory conditions, and planting of Posidonia oceanica in order to develop a methodology for the restoration of degraded sea meadows.
The scientific and technical works of this second stage involves the planting of more than 700 fragments of posidonia collected from plants uprooted by storms during the winter and which are then germinated in trays in nurseries housed in the Interpretation Centre of the Natural Park of Cabrera and others submerged under the sea, on the coast of Formentera. In both cases, the parameters related to water, light and other conditions are monitored to determine the survival rate prior to carrying out the planting works in the sea. Subsequently, monitoring of the new colonies and their evolution, which to date have achieved survival rates on average of 60-80% in depths of 15-20 metres.
Throughout this spring, new seeds are expected to be collected and, after they have been cultured, a third stage of planting works is scheduled to be carried out throughout the summer.
The aim of this initiative developed jointly by Red Eléctrica and IMEDEA is the establishment of a methodology to determine the conditions for the reproduction of posidonia to ensure its viability and that it may be used in the future to accelerate the restoration of sea meadows.
This R&D+i project is part of Red Eléctrica’s strategic commitment to excellence, sustainable development and protection of biodiversity and the environment. It is associated with the development of environmental protection measures included in the Ibiza-Majorca and Ibiza-Formentera submarine electricity interconnection projects, which unify the electricity systems of the island's, and the interconnection link between Majorca and the Spanish Peninsula, which connects the Balearic Islands with the peninsular and European electricity systems. These projects are essential to ensure the security of supply, cost savings for the electricity system and reduce the emission of pollutants.