Share this page Print this page Add this page to my favourites Recommend this page to a friend Increase fontDecrease font

Posidonia seagrass: a radio message to make yachters aware of the stakes of its protection

17/07/2014

A radio message targeting yachters will be broadcast on Radio Riviera this summer, by the French marine protected areas Agency, associated to MPA managers. The aim of this message is to raise awareness among skippers and crew members of the impact of yachting on the Mediterranean marine environment, and especially on the seagrass Posidonia oceanica.

 

A shared conclusion : high intensity anchoring has an impact on the marine environment

The Mediterranean Sea and in particular the French Riviera are well known for the outstanding quality of their environment and landscape. In the summer time many yachts sail in this zone which lies between the Italian border and the Saint-Tropez region. Boats typically spend from a few hours to several days sheltered in bays along the coast.

Studies show that the Mediterranean marine environment is rich and diverse, and it is considered a world hotspot for biodiversity. Meadows of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica  and coralligenous communities are among the richest and most emblematic habitats of the Mediterranean.

These natural habitats are also very fragile and sensitive to human activities. Dropping anchor is a practice that can have a strong impact on the seagrass meadows, either by chafing or uprooting.

Actions to reduce seagrass damage

The first action is to make yachters, and all sea users, aware of good practices, especially about mooring. The main recommendation that can be made is to avoid anchoring in seagrass meadows and to choose sandy surfaces.

How ?

  • Look for sandy surfaces, which are lighter
  • Follow navigational markers, when present
  • Within marine protected areas follow the recommendations of the wardens
  • To avoid dragging position the boat above the anchor before lifting
  • Use the app DONIA, which provides maps of the seagrass meadows

Discussions in progress

At the same time, discussions are in progress in different marine protected areas (MPA) to find ways of limiting anchoring in the most sensitive places.

Different measures are being tested such as :

  • anchorage planning,
  • organized mooring areas,
  • communication, …

For example, “Corniche Varoise” Natura 2000 MPA site is working on initiatives to preserve the marine environment of Pampelonne bay: http://www.observatoire-marin.com/milieu_pampelonne.htm

This work can be headed by MPA managers and public authorities.

For more information :

Back to news