A restaurant, a freshwater swimming pool, a bar-lounge, a 45 m2 suite… Canua Island is a sort of floating private beach that can accommodate up to 350 people transported by shuttles. Its construction is completed in a shipyard in La Spezia, Italy. In May, the island-ship is due to come and drop anchor on the Côte d'Azur, off Mandelieu-la-Napoule. However, its many opponents, including the mayor of Cannes and the president of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region Renaud Muselier, see it as "an ecological aberration".
After the visit by a safety commission, the "ship", registered in France, must reach the bay of Mandelieu "in April, for a start of operation hoped for in May", according to a source close to the promoters. Before that, the maritime prefecture will have to issue "mooring authorizations", warned AFP the State Secretariat for the Sea. But impossible to have more details. After speaking out in various media, "the founders now want to focus on finalizing the project and not fueling further controversy," said their communications agency.
Canua Island was imagined by Marc Audineau, ex-world number 1 in dinghy sailing and ex-Olympic athlete, then until 2014 Foncia's Communications Director, in association with the Fijian Tony Philp, ex-world champion in windsurfing. sail. Member of a family at the head of a large group present in particular in maritime transport or marinas, Mr. Philp has already created a similar platform, "Cloud 9", a floating bar-restaurant described on its homepage. as "Fiji's floating paradise".
But, on the Côte d'Azur, Canua raises a wave of opposition. Thus, the town hall of Cannes has issued "an unfavorable opinion" to the reception of this nomadic platform, to "protect the environment and the safety of maritime navigation". Incidentally, the municipality denounces "unfair competition" with sea bathing establishments, which pay a fee.
Deploring that the mooring authorization is only a matter for state services, the mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, seized Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne. And the elected LR to affirm, in another letter, that Canua has already "made contacts within the framework of the Cannes Film Festival", which begins on May 16.
The Macronist president of the southern region, Renaud Muselier, believes that "in the most beautiful region in the world, where the climate-biodiversity criterion is a golden rule, we must refuse this ecological aberration", when the elected regional Christophe Madrolle (Union of Democrats and Ecologists), in charge of the Sea, denounces an "insane project that threatens biodiversity".
But its promoters assure it: Canua Island will create 100 jobs and was built "with respect for the sea and nature". They evoke an "eco-designed, low-carbon ship, generating three times less carbon emissions during construction than a Vendée Globe sailboat". The waste will be "sorted on board", then brought ashore and the ship will anchor "on sandy bottoms", without threatening the posidonia.
The residents of the Syllau association, whose petition has already gathered 2,700 signatures, denounce, through the voice of Sylvie Kowarski, "the noise and the incessant shuttles which will bring passengers on board".
The project, for which 15 million euros have been invested, is supported by the Public Investment Bank (BPI), as part of a partnership with the region, which some therefore criticize for a double discourse. The region "was not associated" with the investigation of the file and was put "in front of a fait accompli", retorts Georges Botella, regional councilor and mayor of Théoule-sur-Mer.
As for the city of Mandelieu, it continues to defend a "very innovative and ecological" project, but says it is "waiting for the end of the investigation" of requests for administrative authorizations to decide "on the principle of a possible mooring in the Gulf of La Napoule".