Monday, March 30, 2009

Italians "Up Anchor"

Photo courtesy of Luxury Homes Network.

In a move designed to protect marine life from anchors, Italy is planning to ban luxury yachts from entering some waters and dropping anchor in many others.

The Italian Riviera has long been a millionaires’ summer playground with many of the rich and famous drifting idly on warm currents, dropping anchor on a whim and soaking up the sun/surf culture. This idealistic lifestyle could be at risk after the Liquria region announced plans to ban boats from dropping anchor along its coast.

Franco Zunino, Liguria's environment councillor, says that boats indiscriminately dropping anchor are destroying the riviera's Posidonia seagrass meadows. These meadows are not only home to a wide variety of marine fauna including seahorses, fan mussels, sea turtles, starfish and wrasse; but, they are a valuable carbon sink helping to protect the environment of the planet.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Boats can no longer drop anchor in front of the exclusive resort of Portofino; and, 26 new sites will be added to the list. These new sites extend from the French border to neighbouring Tuscany and will off limits to vessels over 5m (16’) according to the National Association of Shipbuilders. This will ban practically all boats and the association likened the plan to "changing the highway code at every [regional] border".

The region is weighing up land-controlled "intelligent buoys" used in Greece and Spain that allow boats to moor without damaging the seabed.

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