The Professional Yachting Association (PYA) has been working with the French Prefecture Maritime (PREMAR) to find solutions to issues arising from anchoring restrictions for vessels 24 meters and larger that went into effect in France in 2020.
The restrictions, introduced to protect the Posidonia seagrass, caused some confusion — and with possible infringement fines of up to €150,000 and the possibility of being banned from French waters, it’s understandable why yachts may have avoided the area.
But now there has been some positive movement on the issue. According to a press release issued by the PYA on January 27, 2022, a new anchorage agreement was signed between the French Minister of the Seas and the president of the French Riviera region. This new agreement is to develop alternative anchorage solutions, which now include 30 new anchorage points — mooring buoys — that have now been approved and funded for superyachts.
The PYA noted in their press release that they realistically believe there may only be 12 to 15 new moorings available by summer.
“They’ve made the announcements, some agreements have been signed, but the details have yet to be sorted out,” says PYA CEO Christophe Bourillon. “But it’s an extremely strong sign that the ministry has taken the lead. I don’t know whether it’s because we have presidential elections or if it’s because they’ve realized the positive economic impact of yachting, but the minister has decided to make it happen. So that’s good news for us, but everything has yet to be done.”
According to the PYA press release, these mooring buoys will be located in the bay of Saint Tropez, Golfe Juan, and Beaulieu areas. The installation will begin soon, with the goal to have the buoys ready for the summer season. The PYA noted in their press release that they realistically believe there may only be 12 to 15 new moorings available by summer.
Now that the door has been cracked open, as Bourillon says, the superyacht industry won’t give up on making additional alterations to the original decree. Adding these anchorage points “is a pretty strong political signal,” Bourillon says. “In France, it’s driven by politics, not by economic sense. And when you get a signal like that, it’s actually pretty meaningful here. It’s very positive, but the thing is, we won’t let it go.”