- On 18th November 2019
- In Project Management, Water Management
- By Izaak
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has recently released its draft policy changes for the South East Inshore Marine Area, a stretch of coastline 1,400km in length, encompassing major UK ports such as Felixstowe and Dover. The policies aim to address a range of issues from coastal access, environmental protection and sustainable economic development. But what exactly do the draft policies say and how will they impact our clients in the south east coastal area?
One of the main policies, SE-FISH-3, aims to ‘’enhance access to or within aquaculture sites, or fishing activities’’ within coastal communities. Some of Exo’s main clients in this region, including Brightlingsea, Crouch, Wells and Blakeney Harbours operate fishing fleets of varying scale. This policy could potentially affect any planning proposals these clients may be developing, forcing a re-focus on increasing access to aquaculture or fishing opportunities, potentially resulting in time delay and cost increases.
Furthermore, policy SE-TR-2, sets out to ensure ‘’proposals demonstrate that they will, avoid, minimise and mitigate adverse impacts on tourism and recreation….and on functionality and aesthetics of marine and coastal ecosystem’’. Again, Exo’s clients including the aforementioned and Cley Harbour provide several recreational activities, including water sports, yachting, sailing, walking, nature trails and birdwatching. Similarly, any changes the harbour authorities are planning to make will have to make sure that the concurrent activity does not pose any disturbance to recreational and ecosystem functions.
Policy SE-INF-4 outlines that ‘’authorities with functions capable of affecting the marine area should ensure provision for appropriate land-based infrastructure’’. Exo’s clients responsible for harbour/marina management will be affected by this the most. Firstly, a review/audit may be needed/ beneficial to identify gaps in infrastructure services provided and ensure compliance with the policy. This policy links closely with SE-INF-3, which involves redeveloping landing facilities and adjacent land to ensure continued water access. Exo clients responsible for past and planned redevelopment of wharves/ports, such as Peel Ports Gt Yarmouth and Morgans Marine, will have to ensure all future proposals prioritise the preservation of existing infrastructure uses e.g. waterborne access and demonstrate that they have gone through the process of evaluating all options to ensure this, before deciding otherwise. Potentially increasing the time and resources needed to comply with these policies.
Finally, the last policy we want to highlight is SE-WQ-3, which aims to address ‘’public authorities…capable of affecting water quality in the marine area (including river catchments) must build in measures to… a) avoid b) minimise or c) mitigate significant adverse impacts to water quality in the marine area’’. This could affect all our clients in the south east coastal area, however most clients are already very much aware of the importance of water quality. The monitoring of water quality remains a key activity that Exo assists clients with. The policy change will likely involve a review of procedures concerning vessel cleaning, anti-fouling and pumping of grey water straight into the sea (as this still happens all too often). The more significant pollution sources like oil or dangerous substances are generally already controlled and managed. For ports in SAC’s, the authorities need to ensure continued compliance with DETR regulations and implementation of infrastructure not already in place, such as reception facilities for oil and waste.
These draft policies have a few more stages to go before they are fully implemented, however it is clear that full adoption will have wide ranging affects for our clients in this region and immediate planning should start to meet these requirements.
If you require assistance with any Marine Management Organisation related activities, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us or take a look at our page on Project Management for more information.