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  1. #51
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    North from the Nab about 10 miles
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    8,188

    Default BORG responds to the Crown Estates report

    The following has been circulated to MMO, Crown Estates, Seahorse Trust, and various other organisations concerned with the Studland Debate:

    BORG responds to Crown Estates Report on Studland Bay EFMs:

    BORG supporters have welcomed the Crown Estates report on the viability of EFMs. However, with confirmation of the high costs involved, boat owners and others further question Finding Sanctuary's 'recovery' designation for the Bay.

    BORG joins the RYA in saying there is not nearly enough factual evidence to support the claim that anchoring is the main factor in the reported degradation of the Bay. No one disagrees that a degree of anchor damage does take place each year but the available reports provide no clear evidence that this is a major factor in the Bay environment. The assumption that it is, is seen as simplistic and the proposal to throw an expensive solution at it could, many fear, cause a great deal more damage.

    The facts as we see them are:

    1. There is no evidence of the actual levels of damage occurring each season.

    2. There is no evidence of the cumulative effect of anchoring over a period of years. The two year sampling period reported so far, and the basis for the Finding Sanctuary recommendation is totally inadequate. The historical evidence - which is all that is available at present - is that any damage occurring is well contained, is clearly sustainable, and has remained so for over 50 years of heavy use as an anchorage.

    3. No data sets exist of the present overall health, disposition and extent of the eelgrass bed. How therefore can 'recovery' be monitored particularly in view of eelgrass's known seasonal responses to local environmental variations? At least five years study will be necessary judging by evidence collected in other parts of the world.

    4. There are many other well documented factors known to affect eelgrass that have not been researched at Studland. The eelgrass is described as 'downgraded' but there is no local benchmark to define or confirm this. Questions remain for example about the level and effect of nitrate run off (particularly evident in the bay this season); desalination from chalk springs in the bay, and the effect of varying ground water table; silting from harbour dredging ops, and local spoil dumping grounds; other natural events and accidents, and a range of other possible factors which may or may not be influencing the Bays development.

    Sustainability can not be properly evaluated without this information, and remains at present largely a matter of 'informed opinion'. It can be argued local residents opinions although intuitive must hold equal validity, coming as it does from many years daily experience and observation of the Bay. Yet their views continue to be ignored, and are specifically rejected by the Science Advisory Panel who insist only verifiable data (which does not exist here) is taken in to account.

    There is wide agreement with the Ministerial Statement (15/11) that evidence supporting the creation of MCZs should be robust: If there IS a problem in Studland that can be solved by reducing or eliminating anchoring, then the expenditure of £3/4m or more may well be justifiable. BORG welcomes the CE report but sees the issue it addresses as at present nothing more than a costly solution looking for a problem.
    Is Conservation for wildlife or conservationists?
    http://boatownersresponse.org.uk

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    kent
    Posts
    3,521

    Default

    I've just read in a local freebie that as Seahorses amongst other things have been found between Folkestone and Dover and they hope to make the area a MCZ Perhaps we need not worry about Dover Harbour falling into foreign hands as they might ban all those nasty ferries.
    'Reinstate MadFrankie'

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Portchester, Solent
    Posts
    4,633

    Default

    Old Harry
    Nicely reasoned, logical, non rant. Let's hope someone reads it.
    I hope you included your sig at the bottom.

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    West Sussex / Hants
    Posts
    25,963

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by reginaldon View Post
    I've just read in a local freebie that as Seahorses amongst other things have been found between Folkestone and Dover and they hope to make the area a MCZ Perhaps we need not worry about Dover Harbour falling into foreign hands as they might ban all those nasty ferries.
    I suspect that bright idea might get the same response / salute to the career conservationists as the Port Of London Authority gave; involving 2 fingers at most !

  5. #55
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    'ang on a mo, I'll just take some bearings
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    27,563

    Default

    Many thanks to BORG
    Next time, it'll all be different.

  6. #56
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    North from the Nab about 10 miles
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    8,188

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alahol2 View Post
    Old Harry
    Nicely reasoned, logical, non rant. Let's hope someone reads it.
    I hope you included your sig at the bottom.
    Yes. It has certainly been put in the right places to be read - whether it will be is another matter, but responses so far suggest several key people are at least 'taking note', including the MMO.
    Is Conservation for wildlife or conservationists?
    http://boatownersresponse.org.uk

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Poole
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Studland Bay Preservation Association which stands for-leave Studland Bay free of unnecessary regulation and free for all to continue their recreational pursuits- has objected to Natural England concerning the gradings given by The Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) to Studland Bay. The gradings 4, 5, 4 mean that it will almost certainly be put forward to the Government for MCZ status.
    The gradings refer to:
    1.Broadscale habitats-Sand/mud etc
    2.Habitat FOCI-Seagrass
    3.Species FOCI-Short snouted Seahorse, Native Oyster, Undulate Ray.
    SBPA have objected to the grading of 5 for Seagrass and grading of 4 for Species on the grounds that there is no evidence to show that the eelgrass beds are receiving unsustainable and irreparable damage by human activity i.e., Anchoring. Secondly that the evidence put forward about the Species is “thin” and of “doubtful provenance”.
    Seahorses, native oysters and Undulate Rays are found all around the coast of England and Wales. (See Natural England and Seahorse Trust websites). They must breed in these locations to account for their wide distribution. SBPA concludes that their inclusion in the case for making Studland Bay an MCZ is purely a case of “Beefing up the Dossier”.
    Seagrass as we (we are all Conservationists) know is an important Marine habitat for a vast array of species and may need to be protected if it is being damaged by human activity. No such proof exists for Studland Bay. There has been excellent research carried out by BORG and we are all extremely grateful to “Old Harry” for his wise and reasoned comments above. We hope that common sense will prevail and that a much longer period of study into the eelgrass beds of Studland Bay will be initiated soon.

  8. #58
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    'ang on a mo, I'll just take some bearings
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    27,563

  9. #59
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    North from the Nab about 10 miles
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    Default

    It's what we have been saying all along, the writing is on the wall simply through lack of funding.

    What we do NOT want though is sloppy legislation that is not enforced through lack of funds. When the govt decides it CAN afford it, a more hostile administration could give us a bad time if the legislation doesnt button it up now. The current bosses may overlook shortcomings, but who is to say what a future administration may make of it all, unless the framework is right? This is something that is of great concern to the RYA, seeing the cutbacks looming. They are pushing very much for workeable legislation so that precedents can be set and tested now, rather than 'reinterpreted' later on by a possibly more hostile government.
    Is Conservation for wildlife or conservationists?
    http://boatownersresponse.org.uk

  10. #60
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    West Sussex / Hants
    Posts
    25,963

    Default

    Twister Ken & Old Harry,

    agreed of course; though I can't imagine a more 'hostile' government, anything is possible !

    Hopefully - surely - it would be politcal suicide for anyone standing up in the present financial climate and saying,

    " As we're in big financial trouble we're chopping people's contractual pensions, also closing / paring down schools, hospitals and nursing homes,libraries, defence; Oh and by the way it seems a spiffing idea to spend ( an optimistic ) £0.8 million for 200 unwanted moorings at Studland, + maintenance, and fund 2 bods full time to run it - they'll need RIB's and probably landrovers, but that's OK " !

    This has of course been very much the view taken by the 'Save Studland Bay' campaign on Facebook, and I do recommend that to anyone who hasn't had a look & joined.

    The locals at Studland take the view that spending such money on moorings no-one except career conservationists wants would be ludicrous, and they are quite happy to go on looking after the beach & area, as they always have...

    There is also the point that if this daft money and style of treatment were to be applied at Studland, what about all the many, many other places around the coast ?! ££££££ !

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