Gironde, France

15/08/10

In the Arcachon Basin, thousands of tons of old metal poles (‘ferrailles') are left behind in the ocean by oyster farmers, and they represent a real danger to sailors, walkers, and divers. These metal poles are initially driven into the sand by the oyster farmers, and they become a real danger if the edges of the park are badly marked out or if the poles are being abandoned. Surfrider is supporting this fight, demanding better demarcation of the parks in operation and the removal of abandoned poles. There could be thousands of tons of metal still present in those waters.

Christian, the Keeper of the Coast, used geolocalisation to pinpoint the metal bars, and he keeps alerting the authorities. A petition pitting against the abandoned metal poles managed to collect over 2,000 signatures. During the summer of 2011, clean-ups were organised in the bay by the Arcachon Basin Boating Association, several oyster farmers, and the Departmental Directorate of Territories and Sea, during which one to two tons of metal poles were removed.

To inform the local population on the issue of the abandoned waste in this ecosystem, Christian organised an exhibition at the Saint-Loubès Library on the 16th of November 2012 with the topic 'Surfing, and the preservation of nature and the oceans'. Writer and ocean lover Hugo Verlomme took part in this event, where he debated with other participants and signed a few dedications. At the end of 2012, an email was sent out to all of SFE's supporters in the Aquitaine Region (over 5,000),  informing them of the advances made in this fight.

Whilst within the framework of the rehabilitation of Piraillan Harbour, the Intercommunal Syndicate of the Arcachon Basin recently launched a request for tender to have this shellfish farming wasteland tidied up and the poles removed, the Keeper is asking a legitimate question: "Would it not be fairer if such a measure was financed by those responsible for this pollution?"

more on the theme

Marine Litter

8 million tons of waste are thrown into the ocean each year – 80% of which is plastic.

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