Thousands of tourists once more have descended on the Balearic Islands, hungry for sun and delighted to spend their holidays at the sunny seaside. And tourism is an important economic factor for the islands' year-round inhabitants. All the more important then, to retain the good will of the more than two million visitors who descend upon the islands annually. And an essential element in their satisfaction is clean beaches and coastlines. But ever more rubbish is contaminating the seas of the world – and thus inevitably the islands' coastlines too.
The region's local governments therefore have a responsibility to ensure that coastal areas are reliably kept clear of detritus. That is why FCC cleans up the Mediterranean Sea around the Balearics and the coasts of Spain to a distance of half a nautical mile, which roughly corresponds to a kilometre, out from the sea shore. They do this by means of boats that patrol the coasts every year from June to September, fishing out substantially more than 100 tonnes of rubbish, mostly made up of plastic and wood, out of the sea. To complete this task even more efficiently, FCC has now decided to equip a total of 33 boats with the very latest technology.
Using the MOBA CG-1 on-board computer together with MOBA CitInApp, the skippers of these boats can report the various incidents that they encounter during their patrols directly, together with the relevant GPS position. This is how it all works: the crew discovers a large agglomeration of debris in the sea, for example. A crew member uses a smartphone to take a photo, selects the "Debris" category in the CitInApp and sends the case to the incident centre, where each incident is recorded, processed and saved once more using the MAWIS U2.0 software package. The staff at the incident centre can locate the problem directly through the GPS data and start working on how to resolve it – e.g. by sending other boats to the site so that the debris can be removed as quickly as possible.
Using CitInApp, the user can choose from between eight categories, including, for example, flotsam or oil, but also such conditions as agglomerations of jelly fish or heavy swell. The incident centre will thus receive the information it needs on the type of problem that needs to be dealt with, and can always see where each individual vessel is located. The incident centre can also communicate directly with crews via the CG-1 computer. "To ask questions or to give further instructions, for example. The information from the App and communication with skippers can be used for more than just an effective clean-up; it is also useful for giving early-warning to residents and visitors, for example, on how many jellyfish have been sighted close to beaches," is how Climent Vilatersana (of MOBA) explains the benefits of the information transfer system.