The location on the north-eastern coast of the island of Mallorca represents and is regarded as the veritable lungs of the Mediterranuem, as a large part of the water area is incorporated in the Marine Reserve of Llevant.
In 2007 the Balearic Government decreed the creation of the Marine Reserve of Llevant in the north-east of the island of Mallorca, between Cala Mata and Cap des Freu.
This marine location was chosen because of its great diversity of habitats and of fish and benthic communities. So far 32 communities have been identified, most of them in a healthy state of conservation, and more than 900 species, principally algae, fish and molluscs.
The coast is formed by numerous calcareous cliffs characterised by the formation of underwater caves. The littoral combines rocky areas with beaches of fine sand, some of which are considered virgin beaches.
The sea bed in the reserve area is diverse and has a high ecological and fishing value. The north-western area is characterised by the uniform presence of an extensive and dense Posidonia oceanica meadow over the rocky bed, next to coralligenous and maërl beds which are highly structured and well-conserved. The north-eastern area presents more fragmented beds alternating between soft beds with disperse patches of Posidonia oceanica meadows, highly developed sandy beds in front of the beaches and coastal detrital and precoralligenous beds.
Many biological communities grow around the Posidonia oceanica beds. These meadows of high biological production are considered as refuges and hatching areas for many species of importance to fishing.
Other well represented communities in the hard rocky beds are dusky grouper (Epinephelus marginatus), large-scaled scorpion fish (Scorpaena scrofa) and brown meagre (Sciaena umbra) as fish species. Crustaceans like the common spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas), the Mediterranean slipper lobster (Scyllarides latus) and the European lobster (Homarus gammarus) are also found there. There is a notable presence of coralligenous beds represented by a variety of free-living calcareous red algae (maërl) like Phymatolithon sp., Lithothamnion sp. and Peyssonnelia sp., where the knobbed triton (Charonia rubicunda) seeks shelter. The penumbra community of Cabo del Freu is unique in the archipelago. Moreover soft beds host symbolic species such as the pen shell (Pinna nobilis) and the pearly razorfish (Xyrichthys novacula). Certain species use this area temporarily while on migration, such as the common dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) and the squid (Loligo vulgaris), both highly prized species in commercial terms.
Come to the marine reserve and discover a living world.