Boat anchoring on Posidonia oceanica beds in a marine protected area (Italy, western Mediterranean): effect of anchor types in different anchoring stages

Renato Chemello, Marco Milazzo, Fabio Badalamenti, Giulia Ceccherelli

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Abstract

Seagrasses worldwide are noted for suffering from mechanical damage caused by boat anchoring. This is particularly so in sites highly frequented by boaters (marine protected areas or coastal urbanised areas). In the last decades, different strategies have been put into practice to reduce such impacts on seagrasses (i.e. by anchoring bans or by deploying boat moorings), More recently, in consideration that few marine protected area (MPA) management bodies or local administrations have the resources to enforce their anchorage regulations, the self-regulatory approach based on education and information of boaters has been preferred in several cases. At present, however, very little is known on the correct anchoring practices to ensure the safeguarding of seagrasses. The aim of the present study was to experimentally quantify in the field the damage caused to Posidonia oceanica shoot density by anchoring. A multifactorial experiment was designed to test whether the damage is dependent on (1) different anchor types (Hall, Danforth and Folding grapnel), (2) the use of a chain vs. a rope, (3) the three anchoring stages (anchor fall, dragging/lock-in and weighing), and finally (4) whether the pattern is consistent among different locations of the meadow.As expected, the three anchor types employed in the present study differed in the levels of damage inflicted on the P. oceanica meadows of the Ustica Island MPA. In particular, the use of the Hall type anchor seems to be preferable to minimise this impact in comparison with the other two anchor types. Moreover, the effect on the meadow of the three anchor types is greatly dependent on the anchoring stage. These results confirm that the weighing stage is the critical stage of the anchoring process. The number of damaged shoots of P oceanica was not affected by the presence of the chain. These patterns were consistent between locations.In the long term, even anchoring on P. oceanica by small boats using low-impact anchors may potentially have detrimental consequences. For this reason, we suggest that in vulnerable sites, it is preferable to implement an educational program based on information of boaters on correct anchoring practices and anchor typology to use, rather than adopting strong restrictions to boat anchoring or deploying mooring buoys. Although the use of these management strategies is still recommended in the case of anchorage frequented by bigger vessels using heavier anchors and chains. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)51-62
Numero di pagine12
RivistaJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Volume299
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2004

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boats
anchor
protected area
conservation areas
Italy
meadows
meadow
ropes
shoots
mechanical damage
damage
education programs
education
shoot
regulatory approach
Posidonia oceanica
posidonia
effect
seagrasses
typology

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

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@article{0e4aa8e4e0ac45769336b2bd887c41d7,
title = "Boat anchoring on Posidonia oceanica beds in a marine protected area (Italy, western Mediterranean): effect of anchor types in different anchoring stages",
abstract = "Seagrasses worldwide are noted for suffering from mechanical damage caused by boat anchoring. This is particularly so in sites highly frequented by boaters (marine protected areas or coastal urbanised areas). In the last decades, different strategies have been put into practice to reduce such impacts on seagrasses (i.e. by anchoring bans or by deploying boat moorings), More recently, in consideration that few marine protected area (MPA) management bodies or local administrations have the resources to enforce their anchorage regulations, the self-regulatory approach based on education and information of boaters has been preferred in several cases. At present, however, very little is known on the correct anchoring practices to ensure the safeguarding of seagrasses. The aim of the present study was to experimentally quantify in the field the damage caused to Posidonia oceanica shoot density by anchoring. A multifactorial experiment was designed to test whether the damage is dependent on (1) different anchor types (Hall, Danforth and Folding grapnel), (2) the use of a chain vs. a rope, (3) the three anchoring stages (anchor fall, dragging/lock-in and weighing), and finally (4) whether the pattern is consistent among different locations of the meadow.As expected, the three anchor types employed in the present study differed in the levels of damage inflicted on the P. oceanica meadows of the Ustica Island MPA. In particular, the use of the Hall type anchor seems to be preferable to minimise this impact in comparison with the other two anchor types. Moreover, the effect on the meadow of the three anchor types is greatly dependent on the anchoring stage. These results confirm that the weighing stage is the critical stage of the anchoring process. The number of damaged shoots of P oceanica was not affected by the presence of the chain. These patterns were consistent between locations.In the long term, even anchoring on P. oceanica by small boats using low-impact anchors may potentially have detrimental consequences. For this reason, we suggest that in vulnerable sites, it is preferable to implement an educational program based on information of boaters on correct anchoring practices and anchor typology to use, rather than adopting strong restrictions to boat anchoring or deploying mooring buoys. Although the use of these management strategies is still recommended in the case of anchorage frequented by bigger vessels using heavier anchors and chains. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.",
author = "Renato Chemello and Marco Milazzo and Fabio Badalamenti and Giulia Ceccherelli",
year = "2004",
language = "English",
volume = "299",
pages = "51--62",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology",
issn = "0022-0981",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Boat anchoring on Posidonia oceanica beds in a marine protected area (Italy, western Mediterranean): effect of anchor types in different anchoring stages

AU - Chemello, Renato

AU - Milazzo, Marco

AU - Badalamenti, Fabio

AU - Ceccherelli, Giulia

PY - 2004

Y1 - 2004

N2 - Seagrasses worldwide are noted for suffering from mechanical damage caused by boat anchoring. This is particularly so in sites highly frequented by boaters (marine protected areas or coastal urbanised areas). In the last decades, different strategies have been put into practice to reduce such impacts on seagrasses (i.e. by anchoring bans or by deploying boat moorings), More recently, in consideration that few marine protected area (MPA) management bodies or local administrations have the resources to enforce their anchorage regulations, the self-regulatory approach based on education and information of boaters has been preferred in several cases. At present, however, very little is known on the correct anchoring practices to ensure the safeguarding of seagrasses. The aim of the present study was to experimentally quantify in the field the damage caused to Posidonia oceanica shoot density by anchoring. A multifactorial experiment was designed to test whether the damage is dependent on (1) different anchor types (Hall, Danforth and Folding grapnel), (2) the use of a chain vs. a rope, (3) the three anchoring stages (anchor fall, dragging/lock-in and weighing), and finally (4) whether the pattern is consistent among different locations of the meadow.As expected, the three anchor types employed in the present study differed in the levels of damage inflicted on the P. oceanica meadows of the Ustica Island MPA. In particular, the use of the Hall type anchor seems to be preferable to minimise this impact in comparison with the other two anchor types. Moreover, the effect on the meadow of the three anchor types is greatly dependent on the anchoring stage. These results confirm that the weighing stage is the critical stage of the anchoring process. The number of damaged shoots of P oceanica was not affected by the presence of the chain. These patterns were consistent between locations.In the long term, even anchoring on P. oceanica by small boats using low-impact anchors may potentially have detrimental consequences. For this reason, we suggest that in vulnerable sites, it is preferable to implement an educational program based on information of boaters on correct anchoring practices and anchor typology to use, rather than adopting strong restrictions to boat anchoring or deploying mooring buoys. Although the use of these management strategies is still recommended in the case of anchorage frequented by bigger vessels using heavier anchors and chains. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

AB - Seagrasses worldwide are noted for suffering from mechanical damage caused by boat anchoring. This is particularly so in sites highly frequented by boaters (marine protected areas or coastal urbanised areas). In the last decades, different strategies have been put into practice to reduce such impacts on seagrasses (i.e. by anchoring bans or by deploying boat moorings), More recently, in consideration that few marine protected area (MPA) management bodies or local administrations have the resources to enforce their anchorage regulations, the self-regulatory approach based on education and information of boaters has been preferred in several cases. At present, however, very little is known on the correct anchoring practices to ensure the safeguarding of seagrasses. The aim of the present study was to experimentally quantify in the field the damage caused to Posidonia oceanica shoot density by anchoring. A multifactorial experiment was designed to test whether the damage is dependent on (1) different anchor types (Hall, Danforth and Folding grapnel), (2) the use of a chain vs. a rope, (3) the three anchoring stages (anchor fall, dragging/lock-in and weighing), and finally (4) whether the pattern is consistent among different locations of the meadow.As expected, the three anchor types employed in the present study differed in the levels of damage inflicted on the P. oceanica meadows of the Ustica Island MPA. In particular, the use of the Hall type anchor seems to be preferable to minimise this impact in comparison with the other two anchor types. Moreover, the effect on the meadow of the three anchor types is greatly dependent on the anchoring stage. These results confirm that the weighing stage is the critical stage of the anchoring process. The number of damaged shoots of P oceanica was not affected by the presence of the chain. These patterns were consistent between locations.In the long term, even anchoring on P. oceanica by small boats using low-impact anchors may potentially have detrimental consequences. For this reason, we suggest that in vulnerable sites, it is preferable to implement an educational program based on information of boaters on correct anchoring practices and anchor typology to use, rather than adopting strong restrictions to boat anchoring or deploying mooring buoys. Although the use of these management strategies is still recommended in the case of anchorage frequented by bigger vessels using heavier anchors and chains. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

UR - http://hdl.handle.net/10447/29470

M3 - Article

VL - 299

SP - 51

EP - 62

JO - Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology

JF - Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology

SN - 0022-0981

ER -