Posidonia - sometimes referred to as the lung of the ocean - plays a vital role in the production of oxygen and purification of our ocean. Unfortunately, Posidonia is incredibly fragile and anchoring in the Posidonia seabed can cause significant destruction which could take up to one thousand years to restore.
The maritime authorities recognise the positive economic impact of the yachting industry on the Mediterranean coasts, as well as the efforts of yachting professionals to protect the environment. They will, therefore, encourage the creation of organised buoy fields and moorings with public as well as private funding. These facilities will be under the responsibility of land-based authorities and local communities.
Anchorage regulations are applicable to yachts over 24m (78ft);
Infringement of the new regulations could result in fines of up to €150,000 and also possible banishment of the vessel from French waters. The Captain is ultimately responsible;
All restricted zones are clearly indicated within the maps (below), which are a part of the new decrees issued by the Maritime Prefecture;
The maritime authorities are attempting to speed up the update of the new charts published by SHOM;
It is also understood that messages regarding the anchoring rules will be broadcast through CROSSMED, in both French and in English;
All restricted areas will be displayed on the Donia app;
In case of adverse weather, the authorities have confirmed that safety and security will take precedence. Vessels that may take shelter in forbidden zones (Posidonia meadows) but may be required to provide justification for their decision;
The authorities have indicated that, in future regulation, they will adopt a limitation of mooring time to 72 hours. This will not apply to yachts in routine operation, with crew on board, but rather to vessels left without supervision and presenting a risk of stranding. To enable this management of mooring times, the Maritime Prefecture has agreed to establish a list of yachts (24-45m) benefiting from an implicit renewal every 72 hours, for the whole season.
Infringement Unlike the Spanish or Italian authorities, France elected to sanction the position of the vessel itself. This can lead to serious consequences as yachts in breach of these regulations can be fined up to 150,000€ and receive a possible ban from French waters, whereas the environmental infraction is ''only" a hundred euros. In addition, several of the means to be used to establish potential offenses, such as human observation from aircraft, boats or land-based platforms can lead to arbitrary decisions.
Read our news article on the infringement of these regulations during the summer season of 2021.
31st July 2023: New anchorage regulations in France for 24+ meter LOA vessels in Western Corsica. See how this impacts you.
To view the maps released by the maritime prefecture, click below.
Decree 159/2016: Côte Bleue Marine, Martigue, Sausset-les-Pins, Carry-le-Rouet
Decree 204/2020: Cap Ferrat, Cap Martin
Decree 205/2020: Pointe de l’Aiguille, Embouchure fleuve Var, Golfe de la Napoule, Golfe Juan
Decree 206/2020: Réserve naturelle des Bouches de Bonifacio, Les Moines – Ventilègne, Bonifacio-Pertusato, Sant’Amanza-Lavezzi, Porto-Vecchio – Santa Giulia, Baie de Figari, Golfe de Ventilegne, Secteur de la Madonetta, Secteur de l’Escalier du roi d’Aragon, Île Piana, Punta de Sperone, Îles Lavezzi, Cala di Grecu, Golfe de Sant’Amanza
Decree 245/2020: Point Fauconnière, Cap Cépet, Baie de Bandol
Decree 246/2020: Cap Carqueiranne, Cap Bénat, Golfe de Giens, La Badine
Decree 247/2020: Cap Bénat, Pointe de Bonne-Terrasse, Baise de Briande, Baie de Bon-Porté
Decree 248/2020: Cap Pinet, Pointe de Saint-Aygulf, Saint Tropez, Plage des Cigales, Plage de la Nartelle, Plage de la Gaillarde
Decree 249/2020: Saint-Raphaël, Pointe de l’Aiguille
Decree 020/2021: Hérault, Cap d’Agde, Frontignan, Palavas-les-Flots
Decree 095/2021: Haute-Corse, Plage de Saleccia, Plage du Loto, Centuri, Barcaggio, Erbalunga
Decree 099/2021: Baie de la Ciotat, Baie de Cassis, Baie de Lecques
Decree 101/2021: Baie de Cassis, Plage de Bestouan, Plage de la Grande Mer, Cal. De Port Miou
Decree 197/2022: Port d'Argelès-sur-Mer, Cap Béar, Cap d'Osne, Port de Banyuls, Cap l'Abeille, Cap Cerbère (Cervera), Port-Vendres, Collioure
Decree 250/2022: L'Estaque, Anse de Malmousque, Pointe Rouge, Anse de la Maronaise, Calanqye de Marseilleveyre, Île de Riou, Calanque de Sormiou, Calanques de Morgiou, Sugiton et Pierre Tombées, Calanques d’En Vau et de Port Pin, Frioul (Île Ratonneau), Ouest Pomègues (Frioul), Calanque de Port Pomègues
Decree 319/2022: Est-Corse, Port de Bastia, Sud Bastia, Lucciana-Venzolasca, Golfe de Porto-Vecchio
Decree 168/2023: Western Corsica
Decree 189/2023: Bay of Calvi
For further information, please visit the website of the Préfecture Maritime de la Mediterranée: https://www.premar-mediterranee.gouv.fr.
Watch our webinar on the French anchorage regulations (released in March 2021):
Last update: 07/07/2023