The Yacht Club of Monaco has recently organized a conference for its members on the Pelagos zone which is a sanctuary to aquatic mammals.
Recently the 8th edition of the Monaco Blue Initiative was held (2 and 3 April) and it is an international platform for reflection, bringing together scientists, economists, politicians and the voluntary sector who share a common commitment to the sustainable management of the oceans and their preservation. During this time, various commitments and agreements are typically signed.
After this Initiative, it was time for the Yacht Club to present to its members updates on environmental issues but also outings at sea allowing all to go to meet the cetaceans, a class of aquatic mammals including dolphins. Thus, David Gamba, 25 years old, is proposing outings at sea this month and until October, on Saturdays and Sundays, to see the large marine mammals up close. The whale watching manager for the Yacht Club of Monaco will meet you on the pier at 8:30 am and plans to return around 2 pm. The members of the club have priority, but the public can enjoy the outings according to the places available. Prices: 90 euros for adults; 70 euros for young people and free for children under 10 years.
Eleven species of cetaceans
The sea bordering the Principality belongs to a protected area called the Pelagos zone (which has existed since 1999), which is itself part of the Accobams agreement. This agreement is an international treaty for the protection of cetaceans signed in 1996. It is a tool for cooperation between states based in Monaco. Twenty-three countries are members of the 27 neighbouring countries (covering the area of the Black Sea, the Mediterranean and Spain, Portugal).
“The eleven species of cetaceans in the Mediterranean guarantee the ecological balance of the ecosystems,” explained Florence Descroix-Comanducci, Executive Secretary of Accobams. Among these species, the dolphins are the most numerous. But all cetaceans “are subject to threats: maritime traffic, seismic exploration and extraction of gas and oil, fishing activities, and tourism activities.”
A sanctuary for cetaceans, “the Pelagos represents 3.5% of the Mediterranean,” said Fanny Dubois. This is the pilot area for Accobams. The management of Pelagos, entrusted to France, will be given to Monaco at the end of the year. The conference on the Pelagos zone and the visits to see the aquatic mammals offered by the Yacht Club are sure to be both enjoyable for visitors and informative regarding environmental impacts.