General Sailing

The 7 Actions Of The Environmentally Responsible Sailor

13 July 2020

The 7 Actions Of The Environmentally Responsible Sailor

If you are a sailor, a practitioner of water sports or rent a boat for holiday you have a special relationship with the environment and more particularly with the ocean. Many people wonder what impact their sport has on this delicate ecosystem. Here is a list of tips on how to preserve your playground by adopting the right actions to become an environmentally responsible sailor.

Aerial view of a bay with surrounding cliffs and plenty of anchoring boats

1. Respect navigation zones and protected areas

Governments choose to forbid or regulate certain areas that are considered sensitive in order to protect them from the negative impacts of human presence. It is important not to navigate in these prohibited areas, which often serve as important natural havens for marine flora and fauna.

2. Respect the distances with marine animals when you go out at sea

It is not uncommon to come across some marine animals on your boat trips. If it is possible to admire them, they should not be disturbed. You should not try to follow or touch them. Too much human presence can generate stress and disturb their natural behaviour. They say that the maximum area of approach in order to not disturb the marine animals is 1 meter.

Sea turtle

3. Limiting water pollution while sailing

When you go sailing, you are sometimes forced to use products that are extremely polluting for the oceans, such as sunscreen, shower gel or dishwashing liquid. Choose ECO LABEL products or make your own recipes by hand to have a neutral impact on the environment. To limit the use of this type of products you can also choose to wear a lycra which means you don’t need to use sunscreen or use regular soap to wash yourself.

4. Limit energy consumption

As when you are in your home, it is necessary to limit your energy consumption. The same is true on a boat, all electronic devices are extremely energy consuming. To become a more environmentally responsible sailor, try to limit your energy consumption. If you plug your devices directly into your boat’s battery, it’s not the ideal solution. It is preferable to use energy generation methods such as solar panels or the installation of a wind turbine.

View of a sailboat showing the seaside town in the background

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5. Adopt ethical and responsible fishing

The golden rule, which must be respected by every good eco-responsible fisherman, is to fish only what you need. Therefore, we must preserve what will be caught and throw away what won’t be consumed. In addition, you must respect the current regulations concerning the quantities allowed, and the sizes of catches authorised.

6. Attention when choosing the anchorage areas

You can’t anchor your boat anywhere, and certain areas are forbidden to anchor. You must therefore respect these rules in order not to damage the seabed. When you decide to resume your itinerary, it is very harmful to let the anchor drag the seabed. It is better to bring it up to the right height to avoid destroying the seabed. This is an easy action to take in order to be more environmentally responsible sailor.

Aerial view of a rocky seaside

7. Adopt a good waste management practice

It is obvious that it is imperative to always pick up one’s waste properly. It is also essential to sort them so that they can be recycled. Plastic is one of the main sources of pollution in the oceans, so we must limit its daily consumption as much as possible.