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It has been decided in different territorial decrees to ban yachts over 24 metres (78 feet) from anchoring on Posidonia seagrass and other sensitive habitats.
Local regulations have been implemented since 2016 for yachts above 80 metres (262 feet) to moor in suitable areas (decree 155-2016). Another decree (123-2019) bans anchoring into protected species, such as Posidonia seagrass.
There are serious penalties for captains that do not adhere to the regulations around anchoring on Posidonia. Captains can face imprisonment, fines of up to €150,000 and bans from navigating in French Mediterranean waters if these laws are broken.
Aim for sandy areas, easily identifiable by their clear bottom. Use appropriate length of chain and warp. Raise your anchor correctly (once the boat is in position).
In the French Riviera/Corsica, the Posidonia seagrass is generally present until depths of 30 to 40 metres (98 to 131 feet). For an eco-friendly mooring, anchor below 30 to 40 metres.
To help captains anchor away from sensitive and protected species, an app for smartphones and tablets was developed by Andromède Océanologie and Agence de L’Eau Rhône Méditerranée Corse. It features several free marine habitat maps to guide users towards a safe and environmentally friendly mooring spot.
Find out more information here and how to download the app:
Posidonia, otherwise known as seagrass, is an underwater plant found growing in the Mediterranean Sea amid coastline and 25-metre (82-foot) depths. It is one of the oldest living beings on earth, living up to 100,000 years, and is paramount to the underwater ecosystems by providing important sources of oxygen.
When a deadweight mooring or anchor is dropped, seagrass meadows are heavily damaged. The Mediterranean Sea attracts many yachts from 20 to 180 metres (65 to 590 feet) between May and the end of September every year. Tourism activities, including yachting, can greatly benefit local economies. The over frequentation of yachts in a concentrated marine environment, however, can be particularly harmful to wildlife like seagrass if not properly managed.
The Mediterranean basin is concerned by the impact of anchoring into Posidonia seagrass. The Mediterranean Posidonia Network gathers different stakeholders (authorities, marine protected areas, socio-professionals, scientists, associations, etc.) from different countries to find collective solutions to enable eco-friendly mooring along the Mediterranean coast.
For more information, visit Mediterranean Posidonia Network below:
Want to know more about Posidonia and the anchoring regulations in French waters? Read more articles here.
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