Let’s Talk Seagrass

March is Seagrass Month

Let’s talk Swiss Ocean Tech and why we focus so much on seagrass.

Anchors destroy seagrass. They rip up a seabed in minutes, destroying a delicate eco-system which took years to grow. Not only that, but we lose a home to thousands of diverse marine life and a massive carbon sink so important in combatting climate change.

How can we mitigate the effect of dragging anchors when anchoring?
– By using smart technology which monitors the anchor rather than the vessel
– By employing data-driven science to minimize the risk of anchor drag
– By predicting anchor hold
– By implementing fail-safe alarms with sub-meter accuracy

Another way is by understanding the importance of these essential plants.  There is a reason seagrass meadows – specifically Posidonia in the Mediterranean – have become highly regulated and the call for protection is growing:

⚓ Posidonia meadows in the Mediterranean have declined by approximately 34% over the past five decades, with the yachting industry being a significant contributor to this decline
⚓ The yachting industry’s activities, including anchoring and propeller damage, account for approximately 10% of the total degradation of Posidonia meadows in the Mediterranean.
⚓ The economic value of the ecosystem services provided by Posidonia meadows, including carbon sequestration and maintenance of fish stocks, is estimated to be worth billions of euros annually. The yachting industry’s impact threatens this valuable resource.
⚓ Posidonia grows at the rate of 1mm per year. Once destroyed, it is hard to get it back.

What can be done? We dare say…quite a bit.

➡️ Inform yourself of the current regulations:

➡️ Follow the Anchoring Tips provided by the French authorities:
• Prefer sandy areas, easily identifiable by their clear bottom, using sonar.
• If any doubt, anchor at a depth > 30 m (French Riviera) and 40m (Corsica).
• Reverse at 0.5 knots max and raise anchor with the bow of the boat directly over it.
• If possible, do not put too much chain length if you only moor for a few hours.

As one captain we spoke with said:

“Make an effort to take care of the environment you came to enjoy.”

Let’s talk Posidonia and why we should protect it.

🌿 Dead matte is an effective carbon stock. To put some numbers into context: 15% of CO2 emissions are compensated every year because of Posidonia along the coast of Corsica. When these fragile plants get destroyed because of a rogue anchor, it can take decades – even centuries – to restore.
🐠 The role of the nursery is crucial for many species. It is a refuge and breeding ground for more than 400 plant species and 1,000 animal species.
🌊 It decreases the power of the swell by 20 % which protects beaches & coastlines.

We certainly are no experts when it comes to Posidonia, but we are able to build awareness around the topic.

We ARE experts when it comes to smart anchoring and the technology supporting it.  Our AnchorGuardian solution identifies in real-time dangerous anchor drag, independent of any movement of the vessel.  It is our contribution to protecting and preserving the ocean and all that live in it.