Yacht Fling, sailing out of the Algoa Bay Yacht Club was yesterday awarded Blue Flag status – a unique award for such a vessel.
MyPE asked co-owner and ABYC Sailing Commodore, Morgan Griffiths, what led to the awarding of Blue Flag status for Fling – a Sadler 26 design.
Griffiths, representing Yacht Fling and co-owners Arthur Rump, Paul Martin, and Terry Phipps said; “I am proud that FLING has qualified for Blue Flag status, for a 3rd year in a row. She is the first Blue Flag accredited yacht in South Africa – and since I was helping to implement the Blue Flag Programme in South Africa from 2004 to 2014, it would have been terribly amiss of me not to ‘walk the talk’ with my own boat. There are a few yachts at Durban who are considering joining.”
The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label; which works towards sustainable development of beaches, boats and marinas through strict criteria dealing with Water Quality, Environmental Education and Information, Environmental Management, and Safety and Other Services.
The Blue Flag Programme is owned and run by the non-government, non-profit organisation the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE); which promotes sustainable development through environmental education. The Blue Flag Programme is managed in South Africa by WESSA (the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa).
Individual boat owners/users wanting to contribute to the Programme can be awarded a Blue Flag by complying with the Blue Flag for Boat’s Environmental Code of Conduct. There are many Blue Flag yachts across Europe, as well as Blue Flag accredited marinas (important for marketing and commercial purposes). Here in SA there are 6 Blue Flag marinas including Port Alfred. Important requirements for them are having a black water collection system and well-managed hards that prevent pollution of sea.
Morgan says; “As for the Code of Conduct, FLING has committed and been adhering to:
- I will not throw garbage into the sea or along the coast.
- I will not release toilet water in coastal waters and sensitive areas.
- I will not release poisonous or toxic waste (oil, paint, used batteries, cleaning agents, etc) in the sea. I will deliver these types of waste to the containers in the marina – we have been taking our used hydrocarbons offsite to a ROSE recycling point, and we use oil traps in our bilge.
- I will promote and use recycling facilities (glass, paper, etc) – Arthur’s wife Jenny helps run the Motherwell recycling centre, so our bottles and cans head her way.
- I will use the most environmentally friendly products that are available and work efficiently – we have checked to see that Snowwhite yacht cleaner is not particularly toxic and we use the eco-friendly Sigma antifouling paint, which is slightly more expensive than the normal stuff.
- I will instantly report pollution or other violation of environmental regulations to the authorities – Paul and I both work as environmentalists, working in enviro-governance.
- I will not engage in forbidden fishing practices and I will respect periods when fishing is prohibited.
- I will protect animals and plants in the sea, including no disturbance of breeding birds, seals or other marine mammals.
- I will respect vulnerable and nature protected areas.
- I will avoid damaging the sea floor (in the way that I anchor, etc).
- I will avoid disturbing fishery or fishing gear.
- I will not buy or use objects made from protected species or from archaeological underwater findings.
- I will encourage other boaters to take care of the environment.”
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