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  1. #1
    oldharry's Avatar
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    Default Studland Bay summary

    The Studland thread has become so long that many people (myself included) find it impossible to keep track of it, so I have asked Natalie to 'unsticky' it, and archive it. It can still be accessed at: http://www.ybw.com/forums/showpost.p...14&postcount=1 The 'sticky' thread re-starts here with a summary of the situation to date

    I have split it in to three posts to make it a bit clearer.

    1 BACKGROUND

    Rio Conference on Biodiversity 1992 calls for participant nations to implement conservation of the Oceans

    European Legislation produces requirement for maritime states to set up Marine Conservation schemes. The main parts come from Brussels (SAC, SAP, etc under 'Natura 2000'

    2008 UK passes its own Marine and Coastal Access Act, (MCAA) with declared intent of UK becoming 'flagship state' for Marine Conservation. (Camerons 'greenest government ever'). This adds to European legislation and provides for a coherent network of Marine Conservation Zones in British waters. RYA has significant input in shaping this legislation.

    DEFRA implements the Act creating the Marine Management Organisation, and hands the JNCC and Natural England the responsibility for identifying and defining MCZs.

    Four organisations created to do the groundwork. Net Gain for the North East, Balanced Seas for the South East, Finding Sanctuary for the South West, and Irish Sea Conservation Zones for the Irish Sea. Scotland and Wales Assemblies to make their own arrangements.

    2 IMPLEMENTATATION
    2008 - 2011
    The four regional groups form 'stakeholder' groups to represent the interests of all parties. These group work at regional and local level to establish location of proposed MCZs, identify species of interest, and gather all available info in support of the proposals.

    September 2011
    Regional Groups submitted their 'Final Reports' to DEFRA, detailing all areas they consider suitable for MCZ status, together with a mass of supporting evidence.

    Reports go to the statutory Conservation Organisations for comment and to prepare them to go before the Minister of Sate for Nature and Fisheries, Richard Benyon (Natural England, JNCC, Science Advisory panel etc). Regional Groups disband.

    This is where we are at now, October 2011.

    Around April - May next year the reports will go before the Minister for examination prior to the publication of a White Paper, and a 12 week Public Consultation period. The Minister and DEFRA have made it clear that not all recommended sites will be approved. John Benyon said in the House last week that he would be examining each area individually before approving it for Public Consultation.

    Autumn 2012 (on current timetables, but further delay very likely) the first MCZs will be approved. These will be those where there are no issues attached. DEFRA is 'committed to further public consultation' where there are issues or clashes of interest.
    Last edited by oldharry; 01-11-11 at 10:07.
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  2. #2
    oldharry's Avatar
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    Default Studland and mcz summary - 2 studland itself

    STUDLAND

    2008 Sea Horse Trust announces it has 'discovered' Seahorses at Studland - known to generations of local residents. SHT claim it is the 'only known breeding ground' for either UK species. Seahorses become a protected species under the Wildlife Act.

    SHT starts working to have Studland designated as an MCZ to protect the Seahorses under the new Coastal and Access Act 2008. Stephen Price of BORG (Galadriel on the forum) spots this and raises the potential disruption of this well known anchorage on the forums.

    Oct 2008
    Steve Trewhella (ST44 on the forum) marine photographer working in Studland with SHT joins in, and declares 'anchoring WILL stop'

    Local Residents do not want to see the Bay disrupted or closed for general use, and form the Studland Bay Protection Association, fully supported by Studland Parish Council. Many very hostile meetings take place between them and local conservation groups.

    2008 - 2010
    Dr Ken Collins of Soton Uni conducts a survey of 'anchor damage' in Studland eelgrass. He concludes there is 'a potential for long term damage' from the high numbers of boats anchoring there. He advises Finding Sanctuary to apply the 'Precautionary Principle' to Studland.

    Autumn 2010
    Marine management Organisation, concerned at the heated argments over Studland form a 'Studland Bay Workshop group meeting Nov 2010 , to which I (Jon reed - Old Harry) am invited to represent 'visiting yachtsmen'. Following on that meeting Galadriel, Seajet, Sailbobsquarepants and I form the Boat Owners Representation Group, to give anyone concerned a platform to speak from, and to enable us to formally participate in meetings about Studland

    Dec 2010, BORG is formally recognised by Finding Sanctuary and joins their Dorset Local Working Group studying the Purbeck coast with a view to defining MCZs in the area.

    February 2011. BORG recognised and supported by RYA, and now working with their Conservation and Planning Advisors, and legal department

    Mar 2011
    The FS DWG defines Studland Bay as a possible MCZ to preserve the eelgrass beds and associated species, including seahorses, undulate Rays and Native British Oyster.

    April 2011 MMO holds another workshop, attended by BORG

    May 2011, the now notorious Packham Programme is broadcast, condemning anyone who anchors in Studland as 'G&T swilling sunday sailors'

    July 2011 Daily Telegraph Magazine publishes an article on Studland, generally coming down in favour of the boating and local resident communities

    Sept 2011
    Final Report from Finding Sanctuary recommends an MCZ in Studland Bay with an objective of 'recovery' of the eelgrass. This means they believe steps should be taken to allow the eelgrass to recover to a better condition than it is now.
    Last edited by oldharry; 01-11-11 at 10:12.
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  3. #3
    oldharry's Avatar
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    Default Studland and mcz summary - 2 arguments and solutions

    THE ARGUMENTS

    1.Dr Collins says there is potential for long term damage to the Eelgrass beds, and is 'advocating caution'. He advocates the 'Precautionary Principle' which means action should be taken now to ensure that damage does not occur. His study claims that when anchors damage or tear up an area of eelgrass this does not recover quickly. He therefore regards anchoring as an 'unsustainable activity' within the term of Rio Treaty

    Response:
    Yes, if there is evidence of damage measures should be taken to prevent it. But the anchorage has been in use by small boats since the first world war, and has recovered from significant destruction by disease in the 1930s. The anchorage is not significantly more heavily used that it was in the mid/late 1970s, and there is no significant deterioration apparent over the 40 year period. Local observers (and many visitors) claim the eelgrass bed is expanding.

    2. Conservationist divers in the Bay claim there is wholesale destruction of the eelgrass, highlighted by the Packham TV programme, and boat owners are wilfully destroying the habitat.

    Response: that is not what either we or local residents can see for ourselves happening. The beds appear to be spreading - it is significantly more difficult to find a clear spot to drop anchor than it was 20 years ago. There is no evidence of 'wholesale destruction' of habitat. Even Dr Collins agrees the eelgrass is in 'pretty good condition' at present. (local radio interview, Dec 2010)

    THE SOLUTIONS

    1. Close the bay as anchorage. The conservationists preferred solution, to allow the eelgrass to develop 'normally' and recover to its best state.

    2. Lay a number of moorings in the Bay, so that we can secure our boats there, and not drop anchors. This is what most main line conservation groups are saying. Advantages - our boats are securely moored .
    Disadvantages: laying sufficient moorings for a Bank holiday would need around 200 buoys. This would destroy the appearance of the Bay, and for most of the year the moorings would be unused anyway. fewer buoys would mean some visitors would be turned away. By whom?

    3. Lay between 30 and 50 visitor buoys, and then allow anchoring when they are full. Advantages Local residents would accept this aesthetically. Owners can choose whether to lie to a mooring or anchor. Conservationists agree this would take enough pressure off the eelgrass to allow it to recover.

    Disadvantages: Cost: 50 moorings could cost around 150k to lay, then someone would have to maintain, manage and insure them.

    4 Extend the VNAZ areas, and mark where the 'safe anchorage' areas are, and ask visitors to respect these arrangements. Advantages: cheap, easily managed, and helps visiting boating community to anchor/moor responsibly. Anchoring and VNAZ areas could be shifted periodically to help the eelgrass.

    Disadvantages. Relies on visitors to act responsibly. What to do about the inevitable 'idiots' and the 'Birmingham Navy ' who do not know a tide table from a port hand marker.'

    5. Leave it alone - its Ok, its surviving as it is. Don't interfere.
    Advantages: easy!
    Disadvantages: anchoring does actually do some damage when anchors are allowed to drag for example. Will not satisy conservationists or meet government conservation objective targets.

    This is a brief summary of the possible ways forward, and the end result could be a combination. The bottom line is that IF and MCZ is placed on Studland, then almost certainly some sort of restriction is almost certain to be needed.


    EFMs

    Environmentally friendly moorings:

    These are in use in other parts of the world and are claimed to work safely and efficiently. Conservationists want them to be used exclusively in Studland. BORG has investigated, and there are a number fo question marks over their suitability, and insurability for Studland. They are also costly. Would you want to leave your boat on a mooring made of a bungee? Some say yes, others no.

    SEAHORSES

    And finally: There is no evidence that the presence of boats in any way disturbs Seahorses. Their presence in many South Coast tidal marinas tends to confirm this. The real concern is that anchoring in Studlands Eelgrass is damaging/ destroying the habitat of what is claimed to be the only known Breeding ground in the UK. Many question this claim, as there are reports of pregnant specimens being observed elsewhere on the S Coast, including Southampton Water
    Last edited by oldharry; 02-11-11 at 09:27.
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    Default

    Perhaps for reasons of tact and diplomacy you missed out the bit where the number of divers in Studland appears to have increased significantly and the sea-horses disappeared....

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy_o_g View Post
    Perhaps for reasons of tact and diplomacy you missed out the bit where the number of divers in Studland appears to have increased significantly and the sea-horses disappeared....
    We didn't miss that one, and have asked some awkward questions !

    If a member of 'Facebook' the 'Save Studland Bay' site is well worth a look - set up by residents who are keen on visiting boats, furious at idiot divers ( some of whom have e-mailed threats to women residents ! ) - in the hands of the police; after that, what can I say ?!
    Anderson 22 Owners Association www.anderson22class.co.uk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seajet View Post
    We didn't miss that one, and have asked some awkward questions !
    Thanks Seajet....

  7. #7
    Boathook's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by oldharry View Post
    THE ARGUMENTS

    1.Dr Collins says there is potential for long term damage to the Eelgrass beds, and is 'advocating caution'. He advocates the 'Precautionary Principle' which means action should be taken now to ensure that damage does not occur. His study claims that when anchors damage or tear up an area of eelgrass this does not recover quickly. He therefore regards anchoring as an 'unsustainable activity' within the term of Rio Treaty

    Response:
    Yes, if there is evidence of damage measures should be taken to prevent it. But the anchorage has been in use by small boats since the first world war, and has recovered from significant destruction by disease in the 1930s. The anchorage is not significantly more heavily used that it was in the 1970s, yet there is no significant deterioration over th 40 year period.

    2. Conservationist divers in the Bay claim there is wholesale destruction of the eelgrass, highlighted by the Packham TV programme, and boat owners are wilfully destroying the habitat.

    Response: that is not what either we or local residents can see for ourselves happening. The beds appear to be spreading - it is significantly more difficult to find a clear spot to drop anchor than it was 20 years ago. There is no evidence of 'wholesale destruction' of habitat. Even Dr Collins agrees the eelgrass is in 'pretty good condition' at present. (local radio interview, Dec 2011)

    THE SOLUTIONS

    1. Close the bay as anchorage. The conservationists preferred solution, to allow the eelgrass to develop 'normally' and recover to its best state.

    2. Lay a number of moorings in the Bay, so that we can secure our boats there, and not drop anchors. This is what most main line conservation groups are saying. Advantages - our boats are securely moored .
    Disadvantages: laying sufficient moorings for a Bank holiday would need around 200 buoys. This would destroy the appearance of the Bay, and for most of the year the moorings would be unused anyway. fewer buoys would mean some visitors would be turned away. By whom?

    3. Lay between 30 and 50 visitor buoys, and then allow anchoring when they are full. Advantages Local residents would accept this aesthetically. Owners can choose whether to lie to a mooring or anchor. Conservationists agree this would take enough pressure off the eelgrass to allow it to recover.

    Disadvantages: Cost: 50 moorings could cost around 150k to lay, then someone would have to maintain, manage and insure them.

    4 Extend the VNAZ areas, and mark where the 'safe anchorage' areas are, and ask visitors to respect these arrangements. Advantages: cheap, easily managed, and helps visiting boating community to anchor/moor responsibly. Anchoring and VNAZ areas could be shifted periodically to help the eelgrass.

    Disadvantages. Relies on visitors to act responsibly. What to do about the inevitable 'idiots' and the 'Birmingham Navy ' who do not know a tide table from a port hand marker.'

    5. Leave it alone - its Ok, its surviving as it is. Don't interfere.
    Advantages: easy!
    Disadvantages: anchoring does actually do some damage when anchors are allowed to drag for example. Will not satisy conservationists or meet government conservation objective targets.

    This is a brief summary of the possible ways forward, and the end result could be a combination. The bottom line is that IF and MCZ is placed on Studland, then almost certainly some sort of restriction is almost certain to be needed.


    EFMs

    Environmentally friendly moorings:

    These are in use in other parts of the world and are claimed to work safely and efficiently. Conservationists want them to be used exclusively in Studland. BORG has investigated, and there are a number fo question marks over their suitability, and insurability for Studland. They are also costly. Would you want to leave your boat on a mooring made of a bungee? Some say yes, others no.
    A quick glance at the options listed, number 3 seems the best, assuming that number 5 is a non starter. If there is a spare mooring I tend to go for that now days due to the problem of anchoring. If I do anchor, it is in close as possible to get the shelter assuming a SW wind.

  8. #8
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    Default Seahorse Tails

    Borg, SBPA,Save Studland Bay Group and Community on Facebook etc etc.
    Well I am very grateful for all their efforts and had it not been for these individuals our boating freedoms would by now be well on the way to being truly scuppered .
    Following this thread ,Borg and the Studland Bay Groups I have had my eyes opened to the modus operndi of conservation groups and persons connected with said industry.
    If all else fails and Studland Bay and other vital small craft anchorages become NO ANCHOR ZONES at least these guys and dolls can say they did their best to prevent it.
    I never get bored of this subject and support their stand in any way I can when time allows in my busy schedule.
    Last edited by ARCO7; 03-11-11 at 12:10. Reason: Post this was in reply to was removed

  9. #9
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    Default Back Burner Beckons?

    Looks like UK plc may be trying to kick MCZs into the long (eel)grass. Conservationists upset, according to the http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...=EMCENVEML1631
    Next time, it'll all be different.

  10. #10
    oldharry's Avatar
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    Default

    Yes the conservationists are getting impatient: Richard Benyon issued a written statement today saying that there would be a further delay before the MCZs become law, very much as I predicted. It appears now that the JNCC and Natural England will not produce their esults until next July, and the 'Public Consultation' will not now take place until towards the end of 2012, 12 months later than originally promised. Benyon says there is insufficent information on a number of the sites, but that the frist MCZs should be crated early in 2013.

    Conservationists argue that this delay is unacceptable, and further damage is being done. They are demanding that MCZ are implemented BEFORE the information is in place. Really?!

    Ministerial statement here: http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2011/11...rvation-zones/
    Last edited by oldharry; 16-11-11 at 18:50.
    Is Conservation for wildlife or conservationists?
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