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The French Riviera: Home of A Toxic Tire Reef

I previously discussed the more famous Osborne tire reef and the series of Malaysian tire reefs. These ecological disasters were not limited to the two countries though. Another severe and enormous tire reef was created under the picturesque waves off the coast of Cannes.

Hundreds of thousands of tires were thrown into the sea by french boats during the 1980s. Piles of tires were placed there with the idea that it would increase the fishing potential of these sites. The whole concept of artificial reefs for this purpose is in question as some research shows that such reefs merely cause fish to congregate in the area but overall do not increase the population of fish. Regardless the tires proved to be an ecological disaster just like other reefs, very little can grow on the tires and the tires move around damaging the natural environment. There are also concerns that the tires are corroding and polluting the environment.

Pilot programs to remove the tires have been undertaken but I have no found in my search evidence that a complete clean up has been attempted. There are reports that volunteer divers have even begun taking some tires back up with them in an effort to help preserve sea life.