François – Randonnée palmée sur les îlets
The inauguration of Martinique's very first underwater trail, initiated by the Carbet des sciences in partnership with the city of Le François, took place on January 23rd, in the presence of many partners and personalities.
A memorable underwater exhibition
It is an innovative concept that is one of the few must-see maritime sites in the Caribbean. Starting from Thierry Islet, an 800-metre trail, marked by informative buoys, leads you into a dream world. Equipped with mask, snorkel and flippers, marine enthusiasts and tourists discover the underwater world in a pleasant way. The "underwater" exhibition, materialized by six informative white buoys, guides the visitor on the living environments of these living beings... encountered during the hike, in complete safety. A handrail allows visitors to rest.
Three choices of routes are possible depending on the level of the hiker.
- the first 300 meters lasts 30 minutes
- the second 500-metre run is 45 minutes long...
- the last 800 meters offers a one-hour hike.
Around sustainable development
Remember that the François is 36 km of coastline., 8 islets with orders to protect the biotope but also the largest fishing cantonment of Martinique. This project is part of the "Gwan Bodlanmè Fwanswa" sustainable development project. A collaboration that should be perpetuated in this South Atlantic city within the framework of sustainable development. The Senator-Mayor of François Maurice Antiste, indicated that "the people of Martinique must reappropriate the sea. They must be involved in the sustainable and ecological exploitation of this resource. ». "François worked very early on in this direction, notably with the creation of the Coastal Brigade which protects this fragile environment.
The underwater trail is equipped with biological dead bodies and an artificial reef. These were designed by the students of the buildings and public works section of the Lycée Petit Manoir du Lamentin. This tool has an educational, awareness-raising and eco-tourism vocation. The representative of the Martinique Region, Patricia Telle, insisted that the François serve as an example with its initiatives to protect the marine environment. Mathilde Brassy, in charge of the "Sea and Sustainable Development" Pole of the Carbet des Sciences, explained that the structure will organise guided tours for middle and high schools with scientific workshops and fun activities. This recreational and original walk dedicated to all sea lovers and visitors, will undeniably raise public awareness on the knowledge of the marine environment and environmental protection. A school of the sea will soon see the light of day and underwater instructors will be trained there. A great opportunity to discover the aquatic fauna and flora thanks to informative buoys.
The main actors present at the inauguration
- The President of the Carbet Des Sciences : Lionel De Reynal
- The person in charge of the "Sea and Sustainable Development" cluster of the Carbet des Sciences: Mathilde Brassy
- The representative of the Martinique Region: Patricia Telle
- The Senator Mayor of Le François : Maurice Antiste
- The President of the Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Committee of the Regional Council: Patricia Telle
- The new Sub-Prefect of Le Marin: Jean-Jacques Narayaninsamy
How to get there
- Departure is usually from the fishing port.
- Access to the site is by sea. You can get there by your own means or by getting closer to the excursionists of Le François (fishermen sailors, catamarans, kayak rental...).
The site located to the west of Thierry islet meets all the criteria for setting up an underwater trail:
- Access to the site
- Lanscape interest
- Biological diversity
- Use of the area
- Shallow depth between 1 and 5 metres
- Good visibility
- Protection against wind, waves and currents
- The visit is free
- 16 yellow buoys delimit the zone in which all navigation is prohibited.
- The visit is accessible to anyone who can swim.
- Significant supervision of minors by accompanying adults
- Bring masks, snorkels and flippers.
- On each buoy, visitors can read information about the marine environment.
- Each buoy corresponds to a theme: artificial reef, herbarium, sand, coral fish...
- The trail is a loop whose starting point is located on the beach of Thierry Island.
- After a swim of about 300 metres, hikers swim around a coral reef with a circumference of 260 metres. It is then back to the starting point.