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Did you know ?
Below are the "Facts", remarkable or surprising facts, which you can find throughout the booklet CMF 2010-2011 Edition (On the "Downloads" section)
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- Man has gone to the moon more often than he has descended into the ocean deeps.
- 1,000 trucks per hour enter French territory just to pass through it…
- The world’s major shipping companies, all sectors considered, are mainly European.
- Sea transport accounts for 2% to 4% of CO2 emissions for more than 90% of goods transported by sea.
- France is the only country in the world to have coral reefs in 3 oceans. Our country is home to 10% of the world’s coral reefs.
- More is known about the surface of the planet Mars than the bottom of our oceans.
- In France, more than 10% of the active population are directly involved in maritime activities.
- The cost of shipping 20 tonnes of goods by container from Asia to Europe is less than a single economy class air ticket over the same route.
- A 10,000 unit container ship is the equivalent of 5,000 trucks.
- The French offshore oil and gas sector is a world leader and alone accounts for up to 9% of added value in the maritime economy.
- Sea transport carries 1 tonne of goods per human being per year over a distance of 7,500 km.
- The French merchant fleet is still ranked foremost in the world for quality and safety.
- Each year nearly 1.6 billion people in the world use passenger ships, the same as air transport.
- In 2010, only 43 countries had access to the sea.
- The Queen Mary II produces enough electricity to supply a town of 300,000 inhabitants!
- The oceans are the main source of water vapour and supply the atmosphere with a large part of the energy needed to form wind and clouds.
- There are currently 9 civil nuclear-powered vessels in operation.
- 27% of the world’s seamen are from the Philippines.
- 11,940 French vessels were inspected by the French authorities in 2008.
- The first semaphores were created under Napoleon the 1st (now they provide an aid to navigation by visual markers, radio and radar all along our coasts).
- Pirates were hung “high and short”: high to let everyone see, and short to save on rope which was more valuable than the lives of the buccaneers.
- Every year since 2004, CROSS controllers have tracked and monitored an average of more than 6433 oil tankers, 3470 methane carriers, 17,400 ships carrying hazardous products, 26,784 other vessels (passenger ships, cargo ships, container vessels etc.…..). On average one vessel is stopped at sea per day for hazardous reasons.
- 6,000,000 tonnes of waste end up in the sea every year, 75% from the land (industry, fertilizer...).
- According to a study by Greenpeace, 80% of the world’s sea turtles have eaten plastic at some time.
- The potential output available in Brittany and Normandy from sea currents is 6 GW, equivalent to more than three EPR nuclear reactors!
- Between 2015 and 2021, 8 to 9 GW of offshore wind turbines will be built in Europe per year. This represents 10 machines installed every day including Sundays during the construction phase!
- The United Kingdom’s planned 250 wind farms could meet the electricity consumption of the equivalent of the population of Scotland.
- A merchant ship calls at a French port every six minutes.
- Implementation of the Port 2000 project will eventually generate an extra 10,000 directly and indirectly supported jobs…
- Anvers is the main port serving the Lyon region. Nearly 70% of containers destined for France come through foreign ports!
- France’s continental shelf is set to be extended by around 10% by the UN as a result of the bathymetric and seismic data acquisition programme EXTRAPLAC.
- In England, throwing old shoes at a ship leaving port brings good fortune. In France, it prevents the ship from returning...
- Créac’h, one of the 5 lighthouses on the island of Ushant, is the most powerful in the world with a range of 63 km.
- In 2009, the administrations forming the coastguard service completed 233,000 hours at sea and 12,660 flying hours off the coasts of mainland France and the Overseas Territories. This represents the equivalent of 20 ships and 1.5 aircraft in continuous operation.
- 5,000 women now serve in the French Navy, i.e 11.3% of its total strength.
- The international distress call was CQD until 1906, then it was S0S, now it is Mayday, an English corruption of the French phrase "venez m’aider" meaning “come and help me”.
- France has around 9 million sailing enthusiasts, more than the population of Denmark.
- The eight regional yacht harbour associations affiliated to the FFPP are committed to the “Clean Harbours” pact, which provides the best possible conditions for environmental protection.
- Since the beginning of the 20th century, the average temperature of the planet has risen by 0.7° and average sea levels have risen by 17 cm.
- 240,000 marine species have been identified to date (against 1.4 million species documented on land).
- Seafood is the main source of animal protein for 1 billion of the world’s population, or 1 in 6 people.
- Several French fisheries lead the world in quality, in both biological and economic terms, e.g. prawns and scallops...
- Work done over a period of 5 years to improve the selectivity of trawl nets has been recognised by the NGO “Seafood Choices Alliance”.
- Did you know that the word admiral comes from the Arabic amir al-bahr, which means prince of the sea?
- In 2008, 8,844 life-saving operations were carried out involving 14,077 people (including fatalities and missing persons) and 11,246 lives were saved.
- Touching the red pompom on the beret worn by sailors in the French Navy brings luck as long as the sailor doesn’t notice. Otherwise, he is entitled to a kiss!
- The lighthouse on the île Vierge is the highest lighthouse in Europe and the highest stone-built lighthouse in the world.
- The coelacanth, a ‘fossil fish’, dates back 400 million years and has a life expectancy of up to 100 years.
- 60% of the world's population live less than 60 km from the sea; soon it will be 75%.
- Aquaculture accounts for 42% of world fish consumption.
- Knots, denoting the speed of ships, is a unit that goes back to the time of sailing ships. They were made in a rope and were counted over a given time (generally 30 seconds) to obtain a value in inches per second...
- 1,084 cadets were trained as officers in merchant navy colleges in 2008.
- The astrolabe, an ancient form of sextant, dates from 150 BC and was invented by the Greeks.
- We “navigate” the Internet, we “surf” the Net… terms related with the sea. The vocabulary is definitely not in the doldrums!
- The first French marine nature reserve was established on 28 September 2007 in the Iroise Sea, in an area of 3500 square kilometers.
- At the International Maritime Organisation, France is one of the top three States to have ratified the most international conventions on the prevention of accidental oil spills.
- Only 0.8% of CO2 emissions came from French domestic sea transport in 2007.
- A catamaran made of 12,500 plastic bottles arrived in Sydney harbour on 26 July 2010 after spending four months crossing the Pacific Ocean to raise awareness of marine pollution.
- There are at least 50,000,000 tonnes of individual waste items in the Bay of Biscay, 80% of them plastic!
- France is one of the richest countries for biodiversity: of the 238 main eco-regions (areas of land or water with special environmental conditions) listed by the WWF, 17 are in France and 14 are in the Overseas Territories.