Environmental protection is one of the major challenges facing our society today. We are proposing these 13 tips that are simple to remember and to put into place in order to limit the environmental impact of your boat.
At sea, as on land, waste and polluting substances can have harmful effects on the life or development of numerous species, including humans. While you are enjoying your sailboat or powerboat, whether at port, cruising or at anchor, you can adopt the following best practices to limit your environmental impact.
In the morning, the fuel is cold, which is less dense, and if you fuel up using a moderate flow, this enables you to minimise vapours and evaporations.
Spilling fuel while fuelling up is frequent. To avoid this accidental and unnecessary pollution, there are anti-splashback systems that are simple to install.
As tanker trucks refill the fuel pumps, this stirs up residual deposits that can pollute our oceans. In order to avoid putting these residual deposits into your fuel tank, wait several hours before fuelling.
Use the facilities at port (WC, shower, dishwasher), and use biodegradable cleaning and hygiene products. More and more ports are equipped with facilities to evacuate black water from your boat.
At sea, never evacuate black water in sensitive zones, such as marine protected areas, areas for swimming and mooring, and bodies of water with limited tides and currents.
Household waste, and notably plastic, contributes heavily to the problem of water pollution and poses a danger to aquatic animal life.
Remember the rule of the three Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle.
Oil-based sunscreen products form a film on the sea surface and diminish the photosynthesis that is indispensable to life. To avoid this, choose water-soluble protective lotions and skin products.
A few easy-to-follow principles to limit the impact of cruising:
Noise from the engine and hull can disturb aquatic flora and fauna. In marine protected areas, areas near beaches, and in any sensitive zone, reduce your speed to limit noise pollution.
Adopt best practices to respect the natural world in order to avoid harming sensitive zones, reproduction and nesting sites of local fauna. To do this:
Whatever type of anchor you use, prefer sandy bottoms (clear zones) and ensure sufficient chain length. Use a buoy line, and always raise the anchor while placing yourself inline with the boat. There are also ecologically designed anchors. Prefer mooring buoys to anchoring, when these are available, as this avoids causing damage to the ocean floor and marine resources.
Acting in an environmentally responsible way is also for those who love fishing. Here are a few tips for practicing marine fishing without negative impact on coastal and aquatic environments and for smart consumption of seafood products.
Respect zones for commercial fishing by cruising at over 150 m with fishing gear marked by buoys and flags.
Use authorised materials and equipment. Respect catch sizes, as well as officially authorised seasons and zones for fishing. Never keep juveniles and fish under the minimum size limits.
More information is available on the website of IFREMER (Institut français de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer): www.ifremer.fr.
Disposable facial tissue
2 weeks to 1 month
3 to 12 months
1 to 5 years
5 to 10 years
13 to 15 years
Aluminium tins or cans
Soda can (aluminium or steel)
Up to 100 years
100 years to 1,000 years
Up to 5,000 years