La Trinitié-Sur-Mer, France

15/10/09

In 1999, the Council of the Morbihan Department decided to dump sediments stemming from dredging of the marina in Quiberon Bay into a zone where trawling is prohibited and which is a preferred spot for marine wildlife reproduction. Following the start of the first phase of dredging operations at the port of La Trinité-sur-Mer in 2009, Surfrider got mobilised and teamed up with around twenty associations including SEMAPHORE, in order to demand a definitive halt to the dumping of sludge in this zone.


As part of the collective of associations, we launched a call for mobilisation, participated in an informative meeting on the risks inherent in dumping operations at Quiberon Bay, and took part in a demonstration in Vannes under the heading of "The ocean is not your rubbish bin". The group of associations also sent an open letter to the Prefect to demand the suspension of the project. Following the resumption of the dredging operations in January 2010, a press release co-signed by Surfrider was issued, and a delegation representing the collective of associations was received by the French Ministry for the Environment. In February 2010, a prefectural byelaw demanding additional analyses of the dredging sludge was passed. Unfortunately, as operations at the building site were sped up, the byelaw came too late. In July 2010 followed the publication of guidelines for dredging operations. They demand the carrying out of operations with sustainable development and the environment in mind. Two solutions were being suggested for every dredging operation, one of which involves sites inland.

At the beginning of 2012, the president of the Morbihan Council and the president of the syndicat mixte (‘joint commission') announced the ban of all dumping of sludge stemming from the dredging operations at Trinité port into Quiberon Bay. Although all operations have now ceased, we need to remain vigilant. Above all, alternatives have to be found to avoid this kind of dumping at sea, as the environmental hazards it entails are far too great.


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