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Recreational and commercial anchoring and mooring impacts in marine protected areas in Wales and England - ME6003

This project aims to improve the evidence base for anchoring and mooring impacts to allow identification of risks to sensitive features from anchoring and mooring. This will help to inform socio-economic evidence used for designation decisions and will support the development of effective management measures. It will inform statutory nature conservation bodies and marine regulators.
1. Undertake an independent review and analysis of available evidence on the impacts of anchoring and mooring. Summarise the UK MPA features that could be sensitive to impacts from anchoring and mooring and any published agreed limits and/or thresholds.

2. Summarise the location of MPA features which may be sensitive to anchoring and mooring within England and Wales. Collate spatial information on the scale and temporal frequency and intensity of anchoring and mooring within these potentially sensitive MPAs, and present an overview of this information.

3. Using information gathered under objectives 1 and 2, identify MPA sites where anchoring and mooring activities could result in impacts incompatible with site integrity and conservation objectives. Develop and present a methodology and sliding scale to describe the likelihood and level of environmental risks. Where sufficient evidence is available, apply this approach to identify the risk and scale of risk at protected sites.

4. Review the site history of a number of UK case studies including anchoring and mooring activities that have occurred within the site, why the activities have occurred there, and where and how management measures within the site have been developed (if applicable).

5. Provide a high level summary of the organisation responsibilities for control of anchoring/mooring in England and Wales. Map the cross-over between MPA conservation objectives and objectives for WFD, MSFD and existing marine plans (or the Marine Policy Statement) for England and Wales to highlight likely synergies and gaps regarding requirements for anchoring and mooring evidence and how these could be best met in a streamlined way by the organisation involved. Identify whether a central repository of anchoring/mooring information might be accessed by all to provide the most consistent and comprehensive management and conservation.

6. Draw conclusions with regards the adequacy of existing anchoring/mooring activity distribution and impacts evidence to inform management and whether it accounts for in-combination or cumulative impacts. Clearly summarise the major evidence gaps and limitations within this context and provide detailed recommendations in the form of a research action plan to address these evidence gaps and improve the future evidence base supporting conservation and management.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : ME6003 MBA Report   (7373k)
• ANX - Annex : ME6003 Risk Assessment Final spreadsheet (MS Excel xlsx format)   (7376k)
• TPS - Two Page Summary : ME6003 Two Page Summary   (318k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2015

To: 2016

Cost: £33,484
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Marine Biological Association
Environmental Impact