Create wonder at the rhythm of the wind, while reducing the impact on biodiversity. This is the objective of Voile Nature.
In April 2022, Délice Nouel, supported by Lisa Roucoul and her partners, launched Voile Nature, the first website dedicated to eco-tourism sailing trips in Martinique.
You are in Martinique and you want to make unforgettable and responsible memories during an eco-tour? Let you guide by this article…
Often, when tourism becomes massive, biodiversity is threatened…
With eco-tourism companies too small to be seen in the face of more than 300 competitors, and a sustainable positioning still in its beginnings on the side of the Martinique Tourism Committee, mass tourism is often the most accessible solution when it comes to discovering Martinique from the sea.
It is to protect her native island that Délice Nouel, a committed captain and founder of the Dénébola eco-sailing tours, is carrying out the Voile Nature project.
The objective? To structure the sector of the eco-sailing trips by regrouping on the same website, small comitted companies. But also, to give more visibility to these excursions still too confidential in the offer of sea outings.
In a monohull, catamaran or trimaran, discover the diversity of Martinique’s coasts with the four members of Voile Nature.
Since 2009, Délice Nouel offers the visit of the islands of Robert on the Atlantic coast.
With his catamaran, Christian makes you discover the islands of Robert far from the crowd and without music.
Jessica and Pol gave a second life to an old racing boat and offer nature tours from the small fishing village of Case Pilote on the northern Caribbean coast.
Aboard their sailboat Pogo, Alexis and Yann make you discover the lost coves of the Caribbean coast.
“The Martinique is beginning to take into account the exponential demand of tourists looking for calmer and nature-oriented experiences. Moreover, the first seminar dedicated to sustainable ecotourism organized by the “Comité Martiniquais du Tourisme” and the Marine Natural Park, took place on October 20, 2022. “
The creation of a natural marine park in 2017 confirms it: Martinique is a mecca of fragile marine biodiversity that we must preserve.
Délice explains that a few years ago, Martinique did not position itself on ecotourism as Costa Rica was already doing for example.
The arrival of the natural park has accelerated the machine. Martinique now aims to change its image by playing on its many natural assets: the coastline, the rainforest, the rivers, the waterfalls, an exceptional biodiversity…
This is the beginning of initiatives in favor of ecotourism.
Within this context and thanks to the financial support of the French Office of Biodiversity and the Martinique Tourism Committee, Voile Nature was born.
In a previous article, we deepen the challenges of tourism in Martinique, based mainly on the case of the mangrove.
The natural marine park with an area of 48 900 km2, integrates the different marine habitats of the island which are dependent on each other for their balance and survival. The deterioration of one leads to the deterioration of the other…
Border between the land and the sea, the mangrove has many essential functions for the balance of biodiversity:
Kind of submarine grasslands, they are present between the coral reef and the mangrove. They also participate in the filtering of sedimentary water, stabilize the soil thanks to their root network and trap C02.
Well known by snorkelers, the coral reef breaks the swell to protect the mangrove. It is also the larder and the refuge of many marine species.
To stay healthy, corals need clear, clean, unpolluted water. Hence the importance of the filtering role of the mangrove and the sea grass beds… Everything is connected!
The islets are small isolated islands that form resting and nesting areas for marine birds. Endemic and endangered species such as the peyi iguana (delicatessima) also live on these islets.
As you can see, poorly managed tourism can weaken or even destroy these ecosystems.
Taking species out of the water, touching corals, trampling seagrass beds, polluting the mangrove, throwing away waste, using harmful sunscreen… Multiplied by thousands, these actions have a harmful impact on the environment.
But how to stop these bad practices without knowing their impacts? How to know the gestures to adopt? It is not natural, it has to be learned and this is the challenge for the professionals of Voile Nature.
What if a sea-trip was also an opportunity to learn about the balance of marine biodiversity?! Indeed, it is when we know that we are the most likely to want to protect!
Unless you are already an expert in life sciences, this learning is possible when the captains are also nature guides. They pass on their expertise and their passion during the navigation.
Sustainable navigation tips by
By grouping four professionals on the same website, Voile Nature begins the organization of nautical ecotourism in Martinique. But is it enough?
“This is only phase 1 of the project. In the medium term, the objective will be the mutualization of the costs, the actions and the distribution”, explains Délice.
The founder goes even further. She hopes in the long term to be able to include more nautical activities and to open up to other French overseas territories.
She also mentions the idea of joining an eco navigation network to be informed of the latest developments in the sector. A network would also allow to accelerate the research and to bring solutions to still unsolved problems.
This is the case, for example, of the toxic paint used to prevent shellfish and algae from clinging to the hulls. Just a few alternatives exist today.
Sustainable navigation in Martinique is still in its beginning.
A project like Voile Nature, supported by public institutions, shows that the tourism industry is gradually evolving towards a more sustainable model, placing awareness and learning at the heart of its actions.
A great example of mutualization that we can only encourage and support, as professionals and travelers.
“As a child, I had the chance to discover the Atlantic coast of Martinique by sailing. I have the chance to know how to sail. A know-how that must continue.
I lived magical moments with the nature. I would like my daughter and the other children to be able to live this as well.”
Launched in 2022, Voile Nature is the first website dedicated to ecotourism sailing trips in Martinique.
An alternative to the more traditional excursions that allows you to discover the richness of the Martinican coasts without music and in small groups. The captains, who are also nature guides, pass on to the passengers the eco-gestures and their passions for sailing, the culture and the biodiversity of Martinique.