This summer boats over 20 metres will no longer be allowed to anchor in certain areas of the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes, according to a report by cnews.fr.
This is a decision that could threaten hundreds of jobs and generate tens of millions of euros in losses for the local economy, opponents say and luxury yachting professionals are calling on the head of state to suspend the decision.
The Maritime Prefecture of Toulon has issued a decree prohibiting the anchoring of boats over 20 metres in certain areas to preserve posidonia, the underwater aquatic plant. This decision comes into force this summer.
Mathieu Reix, professional boatman and president of the SOS Navigation association said: “We love the sea and we fully understand the need to protect Posidonia, which is why we try to anchor in sandy areas.”
He claims that it is possible to combine the interests of yachting and ecology. “About 35 percent of the yachts on the planet are located in the PACA region,” Mr Reix said.
“It should be remembered that the luxury yachting sector generates a turnover of three billion euros per year,” he said, adding that he was speaking out in defence of jobs.
“We are not rich… The authorities need to understand that we are not standing up for yacht owners. We stand up for our jobs. We are not rich, we are employees.” The SOS Navigation association has written to President Macron requesting the suspension of the decree until there is more consultation with the yachting sector.
The Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative reports that posidonia is an important aquatic plant in grave danger of disappearing in the next few years.
“Posidonia meadows are declining in many parts of the Mediterranean because of pollution, coastal development (such as shoreline hardening, urban and harbour infrastructure), fishing activities, and the mooring of ships that sweep the plants with their anchors and chains,” medwet.org reports.
Posidonia beds on the site of Monaco’s Portier land extension were carefully removed and transplanted before construction work started.
FILE PHOTO: Posidonia, essential part of Med life perierga.gr