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The boats, increasingly large, luxurious and numerous, seriously damage the ecosystem.
A campaign goes around the world warning about the effects of the boom of yachts in the seas.
The striking images filmed in Corsica show how the yachts anchored in the Posidonia banks wipe out this unique natural environment that covers the Mediterranean sea bed, between the surface and 40 meters deep.
The video, released by Andromeda Oceanology, tells how in 30 seconds hundreds of years of underwater life vanish.
Home to a plethora of species, these endemic plants with long green leaves are an ecological treasure, comparable, according to scientists, to coral reefs or tropical forests.
“Once destroyed, the habitat can not be reconstituted,” explains Pierre Boissery, project manager at the Marseille Water Agency.
The aquatic plant, a protected species, grows only a few centimeters per year and blooms only a few times per decade, but provides many services. The “mantle” that forms several meters deep offers shelter to the young fish, captures carbon, produces oxygen, its leaves limit the erosion due to the waves.
The posidonia “is the forest of the Mediterranean, and the anchorage of the yachts is equivalent to the passage of bulldozers,” said Marc Verlaque, a researcher at the Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography at the University of Aix-Marseille.
The sailors “want to anchor in the most beautiful places in the world, it is very beautiful on the surface”, but at the bottom of the sea it is “a disaster”, he denounced. A yacht chain, which can have a length of 200 meters, tills the bottom depending on the winds and movements of the boat.
“It’s a shameful ecological disaster in the Mediterranean,” said Florian Houlon, of Andromeda Oceanology, citing, for example, a 30% decrease in Posidonia meadows in the Gulf of Antibes, on the French Riviera, in the last five years.
“As you can not see underwater, for a long time nobody took the issue seriously, everyone sees it as if it were grass,” he continued.
Whether for the Cannes Film Festival, or for the Monaco Grand Prix, or for enjoying the Corsica coves, hundreds of luxury boats go through these summertime events. “There’s a competition to see who has the biggest boat, and in season, almost everyone is in the French Mediterranean,” says Houlon. They are boats “that destroy a (common) heritage for the sake of a few,” according to him.
The authorities decided to take care of the issue and prepare to supervise the anchoring of the boats over 24 meters in length. “All the anchorages have an impact on the posidonia, but there is a determining threshold,” Stanislas Gentien, spokesman for the Maritime Prefecture of the Mediterranean, told AFP.
After the release of the video, prohibited areas will be established for funding, a measure that will come into effect in 2020. Vulnerate will carry penalties of up to a maximum year in prison and fines of 150,000 euros.
Source: La Nacion