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N° 192

November / December
Multihulls World #192

Multihulls World

Issue #: 192

Published: November / December 2023

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A paradise with nothing below the surface?

At Multihulls World, we’re not in the habit of sinking into warnings and doom- mongering. On the contrary, we like to write and publish cheerful, upbeat and positive content. Of course, misfortunes do happen, there are perils of the sea, and seasickness does exist, but we prefer to focus on the joys of life on the water and the freedom to be had from boating, whether offshore or otherwise...
In addition to sharing our passion for what floats on two or three hulls, and making you dream, we’re also committed to supporting the transition to cleaner, more environmentally friendly boating. Some might suggest we’re green bashing or call us self-righteous - but I don’t think that matters too much. What is much more serious is the state of the seabed in the Seychelles. 15 years ago, I did two hours of uninterrupted snorkeling off the island of Îlet Coco. The exuberance of the coral and the incredible underwater activity literally mesmerized and hypnotized me, so much so that I found myself half a mile from the boat, carried away by the currents. So there I was again, in May this year, in exactly the same spot. The water is as clear as ever, the turquoise still as bright as ever. On the little island, the granite rocks are just as impressive as last time. The sandy beaches are soft underfoot, the coconut palms gently rocked by the trade winds. Has nothing changed? Oh, yes: a few tourists are now making little piles of flat pebbles - I have no memory of that...
Mask, fins and snorkel: I’m about to re-live an extraordinary moment - will I be following the enormous napoleon fish? Will I come across any turtles? As soon as I put on my mask, the shock was immediate: there’s no coral left - only bleached, broken remains. Beyond the dramatic “aesthetic” aspect, an entire ecosystem has been destroyed. As for the fish, they’re still there, but there are far fewer of them. The edible species in the area, hitherto preserved, risk being infected by the dreaded ciguatera. Sadly, this ecological disaster is not just confined to the Indian Ocean. The Pacific is not to be outdone... a total of 20% of reefs have already been destroyed in recent years - the first major coral bleaching event was observed in 1997. There are a number of causes for this mortality, almost all of them attributable to us humans. Around the island of Mahé in the Seychelles, experts are trying, with some success, to propagate different species of coral that more resistant to warmer water. The submerged cages can be seen in many anchorages, so there is hope for the future!
But how about each of us doing our own little bit to help preserve our planet?

Enjoy reading!
Emmanuel van Deth

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