4 Sun­seeker launches Project Menorca

Motorboat & Yachting - - THE 10 -

Sun­seeker has an­nounced its first ma­jor con­ser­va­tion project with char­ity part­ner Blue Marine Foun­da­tion. Aimed at pro­tect­ing the marine en­vi­ron­ment around Menorca, it was launched at the Southamp­ton Boat Show by Blue Marine am­bas­sador Si­mon Le Bon.

How will Project Menorca work?

By re­mov­ing plas­tics and dis­carded fish­ing nets, work­ing with lo­cal fish­eries to cre­ate a sus­tain­able fish­ing model, in­stalling eco-moor­ings to pre­serve the is­land’s sea­grass beds and re­duc­ing the use of plas­tic bags on the is­land. The project will also re­cruit rangers to pa­trol Menorca’s marine re­serves.

Why Menorca?

Si­mon Clare, mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor at Sun­seeker, said: “We’ve cho­sen Menorca be­cause the Balearics is such a key boat­ing area but we are look­ing to go fur­ther afield to try to build th­ese projects around the world. Blue has got a mis­sion to pro­tect 30% of oceans by 2030 and we want to be part of that. If we don’t do some­thing quickly the next gen­er­a­tion of boaters won’t have a par­tic­u­larly nice en­vi­ron­ment to go boat­ing in, so we know it’s go­ing to res­onate with our own­ers and the wider boat­ing com­mu­nity.”

What is Menorca’s sta­tus at the mo­ment?

While the is­land has a marine re­serve off its north coast and was des­ig­nated a UN­ESCO Bio­sphere site in 1993, this was never ex­tended to in­clude the ocean. Rory Moore, se­nior project man­ager at the Blue Marine Foun­da­tion, said that: “When I came to Menorca I was amazed by the amount of big fish here as they don’t ex­ist else­where in the Mediter­ranean. But the marine pro­tected ar­eas are not be­ing prop­erly pa­trolled and the fish pop­u­la­tion is dwin­dling, so this is the per­fect time to get in­volved.”

When will the first eco-an­chors be in­stalled?

Per­ma­nent eco-moor­ings (pic­tured right) corkscrew into the seabed for vis­it­ing boats to pick up, re­duc­ing dam­age from an­chors plough­ing up sea­grass. There will be 40 in the first phase, which will al­most cer­tainly in­crease as the project de­vel­ops. One area iden­ti­fied as a po­ten­tial site is the an­chor­age around Illa de l’aire.

How can own­ers get in­volved?

Prospec­tive Sun­seeker own­ers will be ap­proached via the dealer sales process to share and get in­volved in the project. In­volve­ment may be specif­i­cally for the Menorca project, via the Blue Marine Yacht Club, in which there are three tiers of mem­ber­ship, or po­ten­tially a new project rel­e­vant to their boat­ing re­gion. De­pend­ing on the level of do­na­tion, mem­bers will have the op­por­tu­nity to take a guided tour of the project in Menorca or may even have nam­ing rights in this or other projects. Non-own­ers are also wel­come to get in­volved with the project and can do­nate at www.sun­seeker.com/blue.

ECO- FRI ENDLY Sun­seeker is join­ing forces with Blue Marine to pro­tect the wa­ters around Menorca

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