The IEF is supporting the creation of an information pack for charter boat users that draws together the advice and resources created by many of our grantees working in marine conservation. The hope is that this resource will help to engage and inform those chartering sailing boats on the unique and fragile Ionian environment that they have come to explore.
The issue we seek to address:
While being practiced by many sea lovers, recreational boating has many detrimental impacts on the marine environment and coastal communities.
The Ionian region has seen huge growth in the number of boats available for charter, but very limited information is available for users on good practices, and how to avoid actions that will result in damage to the marine environment, especially the destruction of posidonia meadows.
Government data from 2019 shows there were 170,000 boats of all sizes available for charter in Greece, which is increasing as the sector is developed.
High densities of boats can be observed in crowded bays during the tourist season, at levels clearly above the carrying capacity.
The main environmental issue we are aiming to address is the degradation of marine biodiversity and habitat (especially the degradation of Posidonia meadows) from poor boating practices due to lack of awareness.
Other related negative impacts from unsustainable sailing practices include: fuel leaks, engine noise and pollution, strikes on and disruption to marine mammals (especially sea turtles and dolphins), and litter due to human activities.
The Sustainable Sailing Pack will contain information on the Greek marine fauna and flora, how to avoid negative impacts when boating, responsible practices on board and on shore, and how tourists can support conservation efforts, for example by reporting sightings of mammals to the relevant organisations.
It will provide practical information to help sailors avoid damaging the marine environment and make a positive impact on local communities.
Once finalised, the pack will be disseminated ahead of the sailing season this year to charter companies operating across the Ionian Region.
Watch this space for your own copy to download!