Ieranto boat report: what has been happening in July

Ieranto Bay is a protected area of great importance to the marine park. After a full July’s work in Ieranto, we are proud to present some of the results of our labours for that month in the Bay. In one full month, us volunteers worked 23 days, contacting or observing 407 boats in total. Of these boats, 219 (54%) were classified as “illegal”, having entered the bay without being authorized to do so by the marine park.

This is where we volunteers come in to play, kayaking up to these boats and informing them that they aren’t allowed to enter and that they cannot remain (according to park regulations). 95% of these boats exited the bay, whereas 5% did not. However, our records show these do not usually stay longer than 30 minutes, with most leaving after ca. 23 minutes. Nationality wise, most of the boasts entering the bay carry Italian passengers and are driven by Italians. Some of them know they are entering a protected area, while most of them say they do not:

From what we have seen, an average of 10 boats entered Ieranto bay illegally during the month of July (see graph below), with a total headcount of more than 819 passengers on board. The median of illegal entries results in 36 people per day arriving illegally. Sometimes we do not even have time to speak to these people, with an average of 3 boats entering and leaving the bay on their own accord per day, usually within 5 minutes of entering. If the boats anchor, which happens every other day, on average they do not stay longer than 15 minutes.  Also, the most common boat type is the rubber dingy.

In conclusion, the work of the volunteers in July seem to have a great effect when it comes to minimising the amount of boats staying in the bay illegally: a 95% success rate is a very good number. Project MARE seems therefore to be well needed and does work well when it comes to its designated mission in Ieranto Bay.