The conservation of underwater habitats is one of the crucial issues of the 21st century, both for the sake of biodiversity and to protect marine ressources on which some 500 million people depend.
Within the framework of the protection of the coral reefs inscribed on the World Heritage list, Rip Curl Planet is financing the WWF project. This project will enable the installation of new eco-mooring anchors on sights with a very high surfing, underwater diving and boating heritage value between now and June 2010.
Installing permanent ecological anchors is one effective means of combating the destruction of underwater habitats. These solid, durable moorings have very little impact on the environment, and as the entire anchorage system is fully embedded in the hard or loose substrate, they present no visual pollution.
This type of eco-friendly anchorage or mooring system is found in exceptional underwater sites around the world (the seagrass meadows in Port-Cros National Park, the coral reefs of Polynesia, etc.), in an effort to preserve these remarkable habitats.
Thus far, the initiative covers three of the six areas on the list of World Heritage sites.
The project's primary objective is to limit the impact of humans (diving centres, surfers, yachters) on coral reefs which are exceptional in terms of their percentage of live coral cover, the species of Scleractinians (reef-building corals) they contain, or the rare or emblematic species which are totally reliant on this unique habitat. We will focus on two surf spots in particular: Tenia and Uarao (New Caledonia).