I'm sure that the poor chap will be devastated. Meanwhile the task at hand is to persuade politicians (or rather a particular politician), not sailors, that anchoring in Studland Bay should not be restricted. The fact that it has been listed for consideration does rather indicate that even officials are unconvinced by the boaters arguments thus far put forward.In your remarkably spelled opinion only, not the real world - nobody thinks Lulworth Cove is a safe refuge as you've previously suggested - I will not bother replying to your strange posts any more.
Don’t think I suggested Lulworth as a safe haven - just a stopover, which I have done on a number of occasions in settled conditions. When heading west it makes a convenient start point to round The Bill and cross Lyme Bay.In your remarkably spelled opinion only, not the real world - nobody thinks Lulworth Cove is a safe refuge as you've previously suggested - I will not bother replying to your strange posts any more.
Not devistated, more relieved. :encouragement:I'm sure that the poor chap will be devastated. Meanwhile the task at hand is to persuade politicians (or rather a particular politician), not sailors, that anchoring in Studland Bay should not be restricted. The fact that it has been listed for consideration does rather indicate that even officials are unconvinced by the boaters arguments thus far put forward.
Would seem a good compromise but would the bug huggers accept this or would they continually attempt to reduce the area for anchoring?Is there any room for a compromise scenario:
A reserved, clearly marked area for the sea horses to thrive and a clearly marked area for anchoring so that both sides can claim a result.
seahorses aren't the main issue. It's the preservation of the eelgrass that is the main objective. Fixed or mobile VNAZ zones is one option DEFRA put forward. But if anchors are not harming the stuff, whats the point? Nortada is right, once designated, any idiot can claim 'damage' to his favourite wriggly and get further restrictions in place, even on a 'just in case' basis. Its called the 'precautionary principle'.Would seem a good compromise but would the bug huggers accept this or would they continually attempt to reduce the area for anchoring?
It is my understanding that once declared a MCZ, it is relatively easy to increase the restrictions?
I was afraid of that.seahorses aren't the main issue. It's the preservation of the eelgrass that is the main objective. Fixed or mobile VNAZ zones is one option DEFRA put forward. But if anchors are not harming the stuff, whats the point? Nortada is right, once designated, any idiot can claim 'damage' to his favourite wriggly and get further restrictions in place, even on a 'just in case' basis. Its called the 'precautionary principle'.
Well yes but no. 10,000 petitioners (which the recent lobster pot petition just scraped) will invoke a 'response' from the Government. Yes, an actual letter, printed on real paper (or maybe it's not; I haven't checked that bit). Ten times that, and the petition is 'considered' for debate in Parliament. That doesn't guarantee it parliamentary time (and nor, of course, should it - that's what we have an elected Government for), much less any particular outcome (and nor should it - that's what we elect representatives to Parliament for).Please forgive my ignorance but is there a petition to parliament running on this issue? It is my understanding that if there are enough signatories, consideration has to be given to debating it on the floor if the house?
NGM said:Tomorrow there has been a meeting organised in Westminster by those that do not want Studland Bay to become a Marine Conservation Zone.
They have asked to see Minister Rutley of DEFRA.
I am pleased to say that Natural England and the Minister Rutley have asked for balance and so we are attending by dial in as we only had an invite this morning and it was incredibly short notice to rearrange things for tomorrow..
Also in attendance will be Peter Tinsley of Dorset Wildlfe Trust and other conservationists and so there will be a balance.
We aim to show how vitally important this site is for seahorses and seagrass and how boats and wildlife can co-exist if environmentally friendly moorings (EFM's) are put itno place which will allow the seagrass and eco-system to restore.
Lets hope certain members of the non mcz group behave this time rather than their usual shouting and screaming.
:encouragement: Just to clarify are NE (broadly?) supporting NGM's stance?WIll we be there? yes. Marlynspyke and representatives of the Studland Residents will be attending. And NGM will not, nor will NE or DWT. We objected strongly to not being allowed to put our case to the Minister without interruption as NGM already says (or claims) he has been able to.
The downside is that he will be meeting Minister Rutley next week instead, which means he will get the last word in. NGM seems to have moderated his stance a bit and saying he only wants EFMs now. Fine, but he knows nothing about the suitability or otherwise of various types of EFM in this location and application. Its very very far from the simple exercise he thinks.
And yes, a bit of lobbying - in fact as much lobbying as you can organise can only help! Go for it! But make sure you have the facts.
Thats a loaded question! NGM has made such a nuisance of himself that his credibility is waning fast. Last time I spoke to NE they were increasingly dismissive of his contributions.:encouragement: Just to clarify are NE (broadly?) supporting NGM's stance?
Thanks, so differing motives but similar desired outcomes wrt boaters.Thats a loaded question! NGM has made such a nuisance of himself that his credibility is waning fast. Last time I spoke to NE they were increasingly dismissive of his contributions.
However NE are, just as NGM is, fully committed to creating an MCZ in Studland to protect the eelgrass. But there the similarity ends. NGM is determined to have a Seahorse preserve. NE are equally determined to protect the eelgrass.
As we know, NGM claims Studland as a vital seahorse breeding ground. Lets look at the facts: 1 pregnant specimen was found here 10 years ago. Granted this was the first sighting of a breeding seahorse in the UK, so yes it was exciting and important. But none since, so its hardly a 'vital breeding ground' Seahorses live 2 - 3 years. Local fishermen report seeing up to 50 in a day out in Poole Bay, so the Studland breeding ground can hardly be important. Either they are still breeding here, and he has failed to spot them in spite of 100's hours diving, or they dont usually breed inshore in Studland. either way, protecting the habitat is not going to make the slightest difference. A colony has regular residents. There have been hardly any sightings here for a number of years. Yes, 40 were seen in 2008. So has anchoring scared them away? Hardly - boats have been anchoring in large numbers here since before most of us were born. The seahorses are well known to come and go over the years, but anecdotal evidence of this nature is not admitted by NE, because it cannot be verified.
The eelgrass argument with NE is well documented on the BORG website: boatownersresponse.org.uk
I'm the wrong person to ask, but NGM is in full frothing at the mouth mode:Any feedback on how the meeting went?
NGM said:I see the ANTI MCZ group have now asked to meet the Minister Rutley seperate from us next week, I wonder why ??
Originally we were asked to attend THEIR meeting that THEY arranged to give balance to the antis nonsense and untruths and so they are obviously very scared the truth would expose them for their complete lack of understanding about this very sensitive site and their very obvious lack of understaning about natural sciences, the environment and conservation..
For years they have spouted such nonsense and yet sadly a few people believed them.
Hardly any of their 'evidence' was accepeted into the MCZ process because it lacked substance, scientific rigour and truth and yet all of ours was !!!
I feel it is a great shame they are so scared of the truth and we looked forward to putting our point of view to the minister in front of them and debating in a friendly, respectful way the need for this site to become an MCZ
Luckily we have already spoken to Michael Gove (Minister of the Environment) and when common sense prevails and Studland becomes a MCZ then we will hold out the hand of friendship and offer to work with them for the good of the environment and especially seahorses ans seagrass.
We will still attend the meeting next week as it is vitally important to let everyone know the truth and the reasons to protect this site and if the antis change their mind and want to attend with us we will willingly welcome them.
May I ask, what's the other side of the story to this from NGM?:I'm the wrong person to ask, but NGM is in full frothing at the mouth mode:
NGM said:If anybody lives in Richard Drax MP's constituency can you ask him to also represent your views at the upcoming meeting with the Minister David Rutley about making Studland Bay a MCZ.
It appears he is only going to represent the views of the anti MCZ group the BORG (most of whom do not live in his area and so he cannot represent legally them) and not those amongst you who want Studland Bay to become a MCZ.
We feel that as he is an elected member of parliament he is duty bound to represent all views evenly and without bias and this includes those of you that also want Studland Bay as an MCZ.
His direct e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to contact him and please say to him that seahorses and seagrass is legally protected in England and has been since we got the seahorses added to the WCA back in 2008.
They are included in schedule 5, section 9 which is the highest protection in the land and this quite clearly states that:-
(part4a) it is illegal to cause damage to, destruction of, obstruction of access to any structure or place used by a scheduled animal for shelter or protection
(part4b) they are protected from disturbance as an animal occupying such a structure or place
So they are legally covered as is the seagrass they live in, added to this is the Precautionary Principle which is enshrined in UK that 'In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage' [Anchor damage]
Aside from these two legally binding laws they are also a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species (as seagrass is a BAP habitat) and protected by a wide variety of other laws, rules and regulations and as such even if a MCZ status was not awarded to Studland Bay action still has to legally be taken to protect the seahorses and their place of shelter (the seagrass) and we will be pushing even harder than ever to make sure this is done.
Could you also tell Mr Drax that a petition was undertaken by the trust and so many of its partners which was signed by 153,000 people asking for the site to become a MCZ and he should listen to the majority view (an anti MCZ petition failed to get more than a couple of thousand signatures)
There was also a local petition undertaken in the village of Studland (ironically pushed by a several members of the BORG; one in particular) which showed a very clear majority of local residents (2 thirds) wanted an MCZ in one form or another, many (1 third) wanted a complete ban on the boats in the area, sadly this was quickly dropped by the Parish council as it did not represent the views of certain local members.
Most importantly he needs to know that here at The Seahorse Trust we do not and have never asked for a ban on boats using the area and so there would be no economic impact to the area. We do, however ask that Environmentally Friendly Moorings (EFM’s) are used for the boats to moor up to rather than anchors being dropped into this legally protected habitat (Every time they do this they break the law)
IN fact Studland Bay weathered the economic downturn in 2008 onwards because of Eco-tourism. Tens of thousands of people visited the area to see its natural beauty in large part due to the extensive publicity we achieved about the plight of seahorses in the bay. These visitors use hotels B and B’s shops, pubs and a host of other facilities in the wider area, rather than just the café on the beach and the local pub in Studland village and they contribute millions to the local economy directly benefitting the large community.
So as you can see a MCZ will be good for Studland Bay, will benefit a wider local economy to the tune of millions of pounds per annum and crucially it will benefit not only seahorses and seagrass but all those other legally protected species on the site, such as English Oysters, Truncated anemones and Undulate Rays. All of which are already legally protected (to the same level as seahorses) and action will need to be taken with or without an MCZ.: