Improved mooring management in the Italian marine protected area Sinis

From the 22nd to the 25th of February, our colleagues Yousr Ben Fadhel and Louis Vercauteren went to Cabras in Sardinia, Italy for the official launch of BlueSeed’s mooring management tool BlueMooring in the Sinis Peninsula – Mal di Ventre Island marine protected area.

About the Italian marine protected area of the Sinis Peninsula – Mal di Ventre Island

The Sinis Peninsula – Mal di Ventre Island marine protected area is located on the West Coast of Sardinia in Italy. The area is managed by the Municipality of Cabras, entrusted by the Italian Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection.

The marine protected area has unique characteristics: the island is the peak of an outcrop of granite rock which erosion led to their decomposition into small, rounded grains. Some of the marine protected area’s beaches are covered in this colorful quartz sand with nuances of white, green, yellow, pink, and black.

The wet and marshy areas of the Sinis Peninsula’s ponds are home to flamingoes, feeding on the pink shrimp living in these areas. Moreover, 95% of the MPA’s seabed is covered with Posidonia oceanica meadows. This submerged forest is a major carbon sink that also produces large quantities of oxygen and serves as a precious habitat for countless marine species.

The Italian marine protected area chose BlueMooring to manage its moorings

BlueMooring’s team members Yousr Ben Fadhel and Louis Vercauteren spent a few days in Cabras to finalize the installation of the mooring management tool to the marine protected area manager and the representative of the MEDSEA Foundation.

BlueMooring is a platform that enables marine protected area managers to effectively manage their moorings zones, collect mooring fees and communicate more easily with visitors. This platform is coupled with a web app for boaters and ecotourism professionals to book buoys—in advance or by scanning the QR code affixed on the buoys—and discover the conservation actions carried out on the MPA.

The marine protected area of the Sinis Peninsula – Mal di Ventre Island is known for its innovative initiatives regarding the conservation of biodiversity and utilities offered to visitors, such as the study of new planting techniques to repopulate the Posidonia meadows and access for persons with reduced mobility to hard-to-access areas. BlueMooring is the 2022 novelty on the MPA.

In the local press, representatives of the marine protected area explained:

We are very satisfied with this initiative and to be in some way a reference also for other Mediterranean MPAs. For some years now, the Sinis marine area has embarked on a path towards simplification and innovation, trying to meet the demand of boaters and putting their suggestions into practice... With this new platform we are making an important qualitative step. A better version of the platform will be also ready soon, before the start of the summer season. This initiative anticipates the line that the Ministry of Ecological Transition itself has drawn for MPAs within the PNRR, pushing towards an ever-greater digitalization of protected areas.

Massimo Marras,Director of the Marine Protected Area

The will of the Administration is to increase the range of services offered every year. This year we have operated in the field of digital innovation and administrative simplification, making the mooring procedures smarter and more autonomous.

Andrea Abis, Mayor of Cabras, Italy

BlueMooring’s installation in Cabras was financed by the MEDSEA Foundation within the framework of the MEDSEAGRASS project aimed to rebuild and protect the Posidonia oceanica meadows on this coast of Sardinia.

On the Sinis Peninsula – Mal di Ventre Island MPA, a boater now has the possibility to book nights, a three-day, seasonal or yearly pass, and locals benefit from a 20% discount.

Collecting mooring fees to finance conservation on the marine protected area

Through BlueMooring, the Sinis Peninsula – Mal di Ventre Island MPA will collect the mooring fees paid by the boaters and channel these revenues towards the conservation actions carried out on the marine protected area, including:

  • The protection and enhancement of its biodiversity with particular attention to Posidonia oceanica;
  • The creation of educational and informative programs to disseminate knowledge on the marine and coastal environments of the MPA;
  • The implementation of studies, monitoring, and scientific research programs in the fields of natural sciences and environmental protection;
  • The promotion of the sustainable development of the area.

BlueSeeds want to thank the Sinis marine area team and the representatives of the MEDSEA Foundation for welcoming so warmly.