New Scientist has published an article about the global importance of Seagrass like that found in many of the South Coasts Bays and estuaries, and which is causing such a furore at Studland. Interesting there is no mention of anchor damage, though clearly there are important reasons why we should take our part in ensuring we do not damage it. Studland awaits the outcome of the current reviews being carried out by DEFRA. Latest is that the reviewers '...havent done Studland yet'. MMO, who will be responsible for creating the bye laws and enforcing them in the mCZs have deferred their next work group meeting until the review reports are published.
In the meantime we can relax and go sailing until 'they' have produced their reports.
Is Conservation for wildlife or conservationists?
How about rare snails or whatever excuse they are using to promote a ban on many of the anchorages that we can use around the Solent if we are so disposed Harry,any news of that?
The jury is still out. Basically we get to know very little until the reports are complete. Many conservationist organisations are worried that a lot of the MCZ proposals will be scrapped when the impacts/ cost of implementing them becomes clear, to the extent they are trying to raise petitions to keep them - even before there is any definite news.
The main Solent areas of concern are the Central and West Solent eelgrass beds all along the north coast of the Island, including Osborne bay - but they have not attempted to include the eelgrass directly outside Cowes as far as I know. The fate of the anchorage inside Newtown River entrance is unclear. The existing NAZs up the Eastern and Western arms will almost certainly be reinforced by law, and their may be more moorings and less anchoring. Or possibly no anchoring at all, and moorings only? We just do not know at present. Arguments continue about the anchorage outside Yarmouth which again could become moorings only, while in Alum Bay it seems the NAZ would not apply to the main anchorage area. But until we have the reports in, we really do not know yet. Up the East side there is a big area East of Bembridge which could have restrictions, but very few people want to anchor out there, and only the summer moorings between the harbour and Lifeboat would be affected - if at all. Proposals within Chichester harbour have been dropped as the Harbour Board is seen to have it all under control anyway, and Eelgrass Beds in Fareham Creek are already controlled by an emergency order which will almost certainly be established on a permanent basis in due course.
Look for the Wildlife Trust websites in any coastal area to see their concerns.
Is Conservation for wildlife or conservationists?
Somebody should monitor & oversee their activities
Last edited by Nicholas123; 29-05-12 at 10:43.
that's just the tip of the iceberg; check out what has happened at Pagham / Selsey !
A career conservationist 'just happened to find' a dead snail of some type of such importance the Holy Grail and Windsor Castle pale into insignificance, now there's a ban on doing anything to maintain the sea defences, dooming businesses and homes...
I love all wildlife, as 99% of boat users do, that's one of the attractions; but some people need an introduction to reality and the rights of those pesky human thingies trying to make a living, and with a disgusting habit of trying to keep inside burrows ( known to the species as 'houses' ) at night.
Anderson 22 Owners Association www.anderson22class.co.uk
This is probably a stupid question, but has anyone taken an area of seagrass and carried out a controlled experiment, damaging some by dragging and anchor through it and monitoring regrowth?
Many cultivated plants benefit from this type of damage and re-grow better and denser than before.
This is surely pivotal to the entire discussion.
The more I know, the less I understand
There is masses written about research on the subject - just Google it.
The first dispute is about whether the level of anchoring in Studland has caused permanent damage - the jury is out, but the evidence that does exist suggests that it has spread widely in the area over the last 40 years rather than declined. The second dispute is about whether the localised damage of the habitat from anchoring has an impact on various species, particularly seahorses, that are found in the eelgrass beds. Again the evidence is inconclusive. The "scientific" evidence is currently under review.
Corribee Boy, not a stupid question at all. There's an experiment just like that reported in the literature in which they used hoes to rake out all the eelgrass, roots and all, in 2m x 2m squares - which is a lot bigger than most peoples' anchors! It started to grow back quickly, and within 2 years was completely re-grown by the spread of rhizomes (roots) from nearby eelgrass.
For details of this, and of other reports of recovery of damaged eelgrass, go to the paper on eelgrass recovery published by BORG (Boat Owners Response Group) at http://boatownersresponse.org.uk/Eel...lonisation.pdf .
BORG has just launched an updated web site which looks seriously at the evidence put forward by the conservationists, particularly at Studland. There's plenty of ammunition there, including another paper at http://boatownersresponse.org.uk/Studland-evidence.pdf .
This stuff has been put forward in the MCZ consultation process by BORG as evidence from the boaters' side.
The main website, which also points to some handy aerial pics of Studland Bay, is at http://boatownersresponse.org.uk/ . Worth a visit.