Damn bureaucracy/3. Watch where you anchor this summer, the fine is lurking


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photo by Francesca Bedeschi ©ItalyCharter www.italycharter.it
photo by Francesca Bedeschi ©ItalyCharter www.italycharter.it

Summer arrives and fines begin to flow for those who anchor themselves by boat, even at a proper distance from the coast. The first case of summer 2016 happened to one of our readers who sent us an email, complete with a report and related dispute. The story in a nutshell is this.

With his boat, he anchors himself 200 meters from the coast (which is moreover steep and inaccessible from land), does the survey with the GPS so as not to make a mistake, and knows that the local harbormaster’s decree recites that one must give bottom at least 200 meters from the coast. Along with him in that roadstead are a dozen other boats, but his is the closest to land.

The harbormaster’s lookout approached and objected to him being too close to the coast, within the famous 200 meters inhibited from anchoring. He disputes and, even, shows the GPS bearing that certifies in 210 meters the distance from the shore of his boat. No way, the fine comes, it’s 350 euros! Our reader is a lawyer, and so the challenge begins, complete with a photographic survey of the distance from the coast.

This case is the reason to return to the topic of “anchor ban at what distance from the coast.” How come each harbormaster decides independently where, at what time, and how far to extend the ban? Isn’t it possible to standardize the regulations and extend them to all Italian coasts, with a nice online map where you highlight (just Google Map) the prohibited areas and those free to anchor?
Too many uneven rules: 100 or 200 meters, sheer shorelines, beaches, restrictions in effect year-round or only at certain times. Marine parks with three/four different zones, etc.


And speaking of marine parks, we pick up on the controversy of another reader of ours who wrote to us, “It is absurd that there are areas that no one can enjoy (except politicians and recommended people on duty), such as Gorgona, for example. And it is absurd for everyone to make their own rules (at Cinque Terre to access certain areas you have to be a resident, ditto at Giglio, at Portofino only for boats less than 10 meters).
Everyone gets their own stretch of sea forbidden to third parties!!! There needs to be national legislation that applies to all marine protected areas, which should be organized like those in France: open to all with buoys placed not attached to rocks (like Portofino, where if there is undertow you go to rocks) and enough for everyone. And with strict rules to enforce (in the 5 Lands the controllers are then the ones who go fishing in the park !).”
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