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New: special absorbent sheets for yachting

The Brest marinas are committed to providing solutions to help protect the environment and prevent pollution. As part of this commitment, you can buy absorbent sheets suitable for pleasure boats at each harbour office, which can be placed around fuel tanks to limit fuel leaks. Find out more about the benefits of this reusable product.

Special absorbent sheets for yachting, for pollution-free refuelling

Absorbent sheets are ideal for pleasure boats.

They have a hole in the centre and should be placed around the fuel tank when refuelling.

They quickly absorb any small leaks, which not only protects the environment but also keeps the boat clean.

These absorbent sheets are reusable and can be stored in airtight containers between uses.

Price: €1 per sheet.

Pollution in marinas

The most common types of pollution found in marinas come directly from the activities of pleasure boaters. The main pollutants are black and grey water, and fuel. The Brest marinas therefore want to put in place solutions to help harbour users protect their environment.

Fuel stations in marinas are always sources of pollution, to varying degrees. Fuel leaks are frequent. Diesel spreads very quickly on the surface of the water and evaporates within 24 to 48 hours. Petrol, on the other hand, evaporates more quickly, but is more dangerous because of the high risk of explosion. Fuel spilt in the sea is also highly toxic for biodiversity.

There is no such thing as a zero risk of spillage, but Brest's marinas want to keep pollution within their harbours to a minimum. That's why they are putting absorbent sheets on sale this year.

The Brest marinas, which are certified as Clean and Active in Biodiversity Harbours, are carrying out a number of initiatives to protect the environment, including the installation of MéGO! ashtrays, collaboration with the Roscoff biological station and Le Cèdre, and training teams in ways of combating oil pollution. Absorbent sheets are the new thing to discover!

It's easy to get hold of the sorbent sheets: they're on sale at every port.

Need more information? Just get in touch!

Arkea Ultim Challenge : Ocean Racing and Ecology

The Arkea Ultim Challenge, which set off from Brest on the 7 January, drew crowds to the village set up for the occasion and at the start. With its clean village and a stand to raise awareness of marine pollution, the race is committed to the environment and ecology. But that's not all! The six competing skippers will have to avoid certain areas that are off-limits to sailing: cetacean protection zones. Come aboard with us to find out why this new measure is particularly important for the ecology and the world of ocean racing.

Cetacean protection zones

The keenest observers following the Arkea Ultim Challenge will have noticed on the race map that certain zones are off-limits to sailing.

These zones are designed to protect cetaceans, and the six skippers taking part in the race are forbidden to cross them - a first in the history of ocean racing!

There are 6 off-limits areas on the route of this round-the-world voyage, and they have been defined by the Share the Ocean scientific consortium. They are breeding and feeding grounds for cetaceans, as well as busy passages on the migratory routes. They are located in the Azores, the Canaries, off Cape Verde, the Cape of Good Hope, east of Kerguelen Island and Cape Horn.

The aim of the race directors is twofold:

  • Protecting marine megafauna, which is essential to the proper functioning of ecosystems and the maintenance of biodiversity.
  • Reduce the risk of collisions between racing boats and cetaceans. In this way, the Arkea Ultim Challenge enhances the safety of skippers at sea, and reduces the risk of injury or death to an animal.

The trimarans are equipped with devices that emit noises at frequencies that keep animals away, but they are not 100% effective and the risk of collision remains high. Defining zones that skippers will not be able to cross is therefore a very good thing.

Depending on the region and the season, cetacean protection zones are home to blue whales, killer whales, dolphins, sperm whales, pilot whales and southern right whales, which can be up to 18 metres long.

Ocean racing and ecology: tomorrow's challenge?

Sailing is a sport with a very clean, green image. There's nothing sweeter than moving with the wind.

But the reality is quite different. The carbon impact of boat building and the logistics of ocean racing events is significant.

But awareness is growing in front of the collapse of biodiversity and climate change. As a result, Stanislas Thuret has decided to retire from ocean racing in 2023: "The climate emergency and the collapse of biodiversity are incompatible with the way we live ocean racing and competition." He adds that he no longer wants "unlimited competition in terms of performance".

This sailor is also one of the people behind the La Vague collective, whose mission is to change sailing practices to limit their ecological impact.

The cetacean protection zones in the Arkea Ultim Challenge illustrate a growing desire to do the right thing and a desire to move the boundaries in the world of ocean racing. What's even more interesting is that this desire comes from within, and from people who know this field very well, like the La Vague collective.

In a world that is always looking to break speed records and outdo itself from a technological point of view, the challenges of tomorrow will certainly be just as ecological, with perhaps a winner whose carbon footprint from the construction of the boat to the race would be taken into account.

Expedition Arvik Ocean

This Sunday, April 30, will be held at the visitor's pontoon of the Moulin Blanc Marina, the departure party of the Arvik Ocean Expedition. The public will be welcomed from 2 to 5 pm.

"Whale Being" project

Cetaceans are, nowadays, more and more threatened by fishing, this expedition aims to find solution in Northern Europe.

An observation

Cetaceans are now threatened with extinction. Indeed, the number of strandings of marine mammals is clearly increasing and no concrete measures are taken to safeguard them. Approximately 400 dolphins have stranded on our coasts since December, and more than 500 000 cetaceans are victims of fishing gear every year.

The mission

The main goal of this mission is to contribute to research to understand the impacts of fishing on cetaceans and to document the actions of two NGOs (Sussex Dolphin and Whale Wise) in Northern Europe.

The sailing boat Arvik Ocean will embark the teams of the NGOs to facilitate their actions. They will exchange information to better understand the stakes and impacts of the cetacean fishing and document the actions taken. They wish to transmit their discoveries to the general public.

The routes

  • April - May : departure of the expedition, France
  • may : mission with Sussex Dolphin, England
  • July : mission with Whale Wise, Iceland
  • September : end of the expedition, return to France

To follow the mission

Social networks :

Website :

Contact :

  • Mail :


The ifremer centre makes a call to the public to report green microalgae blooms on the Brittany coast. Indeed, this phenomen has already occurred in previous years, but never so early.


This is an evocative name for a phenomen that can be surprising when walking along the coast. It is nevertheless exceptional, occuring in spring when the sunshine and water temperature favour the growth of microalgae. This phenomen is potentially harmful for marine fauna.

The appearance of this green, red or brown water is unpredictable. Hence the importance of reporting this phenomen as soon as possible to the Ifremer scientist so that he can take a sample or call

"We encourage citizens who see coloured water to take a small quantity in a bottle and bring it to the nearest Ifremer station or relay structure as soon as possible", Anne Donner, coordinator of the Phenomer preogramme.

Clean and Active for Biodiversity Harbours Label Renewed

After two days of auditing, the Brest Marinas have been rewarded for their work by obtaining the renewal of the Clean and Active for Biodiversity Harbours certification (Ports Propres Actifs en Biodiversité). This certification is specific to marinas and validates the actions taken to limit the impact of the harbour's activity on the environment.

Clean and Active for Biodiversity Harbours Label

This European Certification (Ports Propres Actifs en Biodiversité) specifically concerns marinas and rewards their efforts for environmental protection and sustainable development. The approach is voluntary on the part of the marinas mangers. For this to happen, certain criteria must be met such as:

  • have a trained staff who is familiar with procedures and equipment in the event of marine pollution;
  • have a careening area with a system for recovering and treating polluted water when working on the hulls of boats;
  • have a blue station for pumping out black and bilge water;
  • have waste collection points, and containers for soiled products;
  • have one or more sanitary blocks to avoid discharging grey water intor the harbour.

To date, 100 marinas have been certified as Clean Harbours, and 39, including the two marinas in Brest, have been awarded the complementary Active for Biodiversity label.

Actions carried out in Brest Marinas

Several actions are carried out in each of Brest's harbour such as :

  • participation in the "I sail, I sort" action : a programme created in 2011 which is dedicated to the prevention of marine waste and aims to develop recycling;
  • the sale of special absorbent sheets for yachting;
  • free supply of pocket ashtrays, and the installation of MéGO! ashtrays, a company that collects and recycles cigarette butts, in the vicinity of each harbour office;
  • the collaboration with Roscoff biological station, which regularly carries out checks on invasive species;
  • the installation of rainwater harversters;
  • the collaboration with Cedre, which tests the degradation and aborption of pollutants from certain waste products, and which has trained the marinas teams in oil spill response methods.

The teams of the Château Marina and Moulin Blanc Marina continue to carry out actions within the framework of this certification, and count on all the users of the marinas, from the yachtsman to the simple walker, to limit waste, discharges and protect the environment.

Fight against accidental oil pollution

Brest marinas teams regularly have to deal with small-scale pollution in the ports. To help them deal with this type of situation, Cedre provided them with two days of training in oil spill response techniques.

What is Cedre?

Located in the Moulin Blanc harbour, Cedre is an expert in accidental water pollution, from upstream preparation to the restoration of environments after accidents. It operates both in France and abroad.

Its missions are to provide expertise and advice to entities in charge of water pollution control. Cedre has also been mandated by the Ministry of Ecology to lead the network for monitoring macro- and micro-plastic waste on the coastline.

Cedre is also a training centre for professionals in the fight against accidental oil pollution. It is in this capacity that Cedre has intervened in Brest marinas.

Understanding accidental pollution in marinas

To keep the harbour clean, it is necessary to identify and understand the various possible pollutions in order to implement the right technical means.

The pollutions that we find most frequently in marinas are :

  • black and grey waters;
  • fuels;
  • natural and urban outfalls.

Faced with this, there are difficulties in managing pollution linked to the environment:

  • rip-rap, which is difficult to protect and clean;
  • pontoons, under which pollution can go;
  • boats moored to pontoons, which can end up in the middle of pollution.

The port agents, supervised by Cedre trainers, were able to test different equipments in the Moulin Blanc harbour in order to learn how to contain and clean up an oil spill. The simulation on our infrastructures allowed the team to better understand the progress of such an operation, and to identify the elements of the site that could be problematic for the deployment of the different floating booms.

Rice husks were used to simulate a fuel leak.

Cedre also has a technical platform where our teams were able to practice identifying sources of pollution, and handling the booms to contain and clean up the pollution.

What to remember about oil spill response techniques:

  • floating booms are not 100% efficient, there will always be losses;
  • diesel spreads very quickly, but evaporates in 24 to 48 hours;
  • petrol evaporates faster than diesel. However, in the event of a large leak, the area must be evacuated as there is a risk of explosion;
  • it is essential to identify the source of a spill quickly in order to be effective.

Equipments in Brest marinas to prevent pollution

The majority of pollution comes from ships moored in the port. These include ships that empty their bilges in the harbour, or those with overflowing fuel tanks.

To prevent boaters from polluting the marinas themselves, the Brest marinas provide various facilities:

  • a careening area;
  • a black water and grey water station;
  • a fuel station with retention grids;
  • a waste disposal centre with containers for soiled products;
  • a rubish dump at the top of the Moulin Blanc careening dock.

In addition, boaters will also find underground containers for household waste, cardboard and glass. Ashtrays have also been installed along the Moulin Blanc promenade and near the sanitary facilities in both harbours.

Brest marinas have been awarded the Ports Propres Actifs en biodiversité label (Clean and Active for biodiversity Harbour Label) thanks to what have been put in place to protect the environment. But to go further in the process, it is necessary for everyone to make an effort by systematically using the equipment available.