Happy Birthday Swiss Ocean Tech!
We just made it to 3 and we couldn’t be prouder.
We figure the best way to celebrate is by drawing attention to seagrass. Why seagrass? For 2 very good reasons:
1. Seagrass and anchoring are intricately entwined, so it makes sense for us to focus on it.
2. March is the month of Seagrass.
More so, the UN has marked March 1 as World Seagrass Day. “The United Nations … called for more action to protect one of the most widespread and important marine ecosystems on the planet, marking the first ever commemoration of World Seagrass Day.»
Taking a few facts from the Save Our Seabed website, it is easy to understand why seagrass is so vital to our existence:
It’s often said that “every second breath comes from the ocean”, and seagrass is a major oxygen factory!
The ocean produces around 50% of Earth’s oxygen, while rainforests produce about 20%.
Just like plants on land, seagrasses use photosynthesis to make energy, taking carbon dioxide from the water and releasing oxygen.
Seagrass is needed more than ever!
Its complex root systems quickly take up and store large amounts of carbon – up to 35x faster than tropical rainforests.
It covers less than 0.2% of the ocean floor, but absorbs 10% of the ocean’s carbon every year.
From marvellous manatees to pocket-sized pipefish, seagrass supports a huge range of animals.
Just like the rainforest, seagrass beds provide a safe place for all kinds of creatures to live and breed.
Seagrass is vulnerable to anchoring because an anchor can rip up a delicate ecosystem which took years to grow. In numbers, it takes approx. 10 years for seagrass to grow just one cm. If you want to understand how anchoring can impact seagrass meadows, here is a video commissioned by the Andromède Océanologie at the request of the Corsican Environment Office.
On February 22, a superyacht ran aground after their mooring line broke and they were not able to manoevre fast enough out of the situation. That is the tricky thing about anchoring, even if you know you are dragging, you do not always have the time to react. Even when captain and crew do everything right, the boat can still end up in protected and vulnerable regions causing considerable damage, as was the case this month.
It is forbidden to anchor in seagrass anywhere in the Mediterranean. If you need a brush up on regulations, check out this thorough website:
The Swiss Ocean Tech team is dedicated to bringing safety to anchoring with their proprietary technology, AnchorGuardian. Part of our mission is to minimize the threat to seagrass meadows by providing intelligent data to all captains and crew when anchoring. For today however, we might take a small break to celebrate.