On 8 September 2017, Spain has declared its 8th Mediterranean marine reserve for fisheries, the marine reserve of Cabo Tiñoso in Murcia. This marine reserve for fisheries is managed by the Spanish Fisheries Secretary and the Regional Government of Murcia.

Marine reserves are protected by the fisheries legislation, whose main goal is the enhancement of fishing resources and the maintenance of traditional artisanal fisheries in the area. Marine Reserves have been created on request of Fishermen’s associations, “cofradías”, representational bodies for the professional small scale fishing industry. This essential support is the basis to protect these reserves from users outside the census of traditional artisanal fishermen.

Currently, there are 11 Marine Reserves in Spain, 6 of them managed jointly with the Autonomous Communities and 5 exclusively managed by the General State Administration.

Take a look at the report “Spain’s network of marine reserves” prepared by MAPAMA, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment. General Secretariat of Fisheries
Specifically, the Marine Reserve of Cabo Tiñoso is the second largest Marine Reserve of the Region of Murcia, after the 1,931 hectares Cabo de Palos-Hormigas Islands marine reserve. The 2 reserves have similar management models.

This reserve is characterised by its high ecological value, which includes, among others, the presence of marine phanerogams, submerged caves or artificial reefs.
The total area of the Marine Reserve of Cabo Tiñoso is currently is 1,173.79 hectares.

It is located in the southern area of the coast of Murcia, west of the municipality of Cartagena. This reserve includes the coastal strip between Isla Plana and Cala Mojarra, up to the 50m isobath; along with the area bounded by a distance of 500 m around the coast of the island of Las Palomas. It includes internal and external waters, and is composed of 4 different zones based on the usages allowed, including an integral reserve area (Cell B) of 86.11 hectares.

As a reminder, Marine Reserves are one of the denominations of marine protected areas in Spain. Around 15 denominations coexist, often with overlapping surfaces, and with various levels of protection strengths and management.

Subnational level:

  • Plan for Areas of Natural Interest

National level

  • Marine reserves
  • Natural Landscape,
  • National Parks,
  • Natural Monument
  • Natural Landscape,
  • Nature Park,
  • National Hunting Refuge,
  • Natural Reserves

Regional level

  • Natura 2000 denominations (Special Protection Areas – SPAs – under the EU Birds Directive (1979), Sites of Community Importance – SCI – under the Habitats Directive which are sometimes called Special Areas of Conservation – SAC)
  • Specially Protected Area of Mediterranean Importance (Barcelona Convention)

International level

  • Ramsar sites
  • UNESCO World heritage sites,
  • UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve

In 2016, MAPAMED reported 30,459 km2 of marine designations in, Mediterranean Spanish waters (11.66% of the Spanish theoretical Exclusive Economic Zone ) with 0.86% of Nationally designated sites and 11.64% of Natura 2000 sites (these figures do not include the Cabo Tiñoso Marine Reserve).