With DONIA, a free application to download, you can choose anchorages with low impact on the ecosystems, in particular on the Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows.
Developed by Andromède Océanologie, in partnership with the Rhône-Méditerranée-Corse water board, this application aims to provide a tool to enhance both safety and eco-responsibility: the information it provides means that sailors can choose their anchorage according to the meteorological conditions and above all according to the characteristics of the seabed nearby. It enables them to anchor safe in the knowledge that they will not damage the most fragile ecosystems, in particular the Posidonia oceanica seagrass beds. This as we know is a protected species, but it is in constant decline at many sites. Since last year, its preservation has had the support of several decrees by the French coastal authority, the Préfecture Maritime, focused on controlling anchorages, in particular for larger vessels.
Preserving and sharing
The basic version, completely free of charge and available for smartphones and pads, provides access to accurate marine charts with a wealth of information added, such as diving sites, the nearest harbour, places of interest, fishing regulations in force, and more. The application also enables users to share useful information on possible dangers encountered at sea (obstacles, accidents, jellyfish, SOS alerts, etc.), or to share personal observations by posting pictures, for instance.
There is too a Premium version, for a fee, for those who want to make use of additional services such as alerts for anchor dragging, entangling or collisions, or recording the route sailed, measuring distances or setting a new course.
Seagrass meadows: now more precious than ever
While the role of seagrass meadows as nurseries and priviledged habitats for numerous species is well known, they are too providers of oxygen and capable of storing carbon. And they are excellent stabilisers for the seabed, and the banks of dead leaves that reappear every winter on our beaches, far from being just rubbish, are a vital rampart against erosion by the waves. In a context of global change and the erosion of the coastline, the seagrasses are more precious than ever.