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Studland Bay - what you need to do

oldharry

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Presumably they've all gone away again now... 17th July 2020

View attachment 95493
No. But NGM said yesterday they could only find half the number they 'usually expect' and only one mature male. So they have mved oiutr of that corner of the Bay, whic is under cliff close inshore to the left of the pic. BTW, yes I have seen 350 boats in the Bay, on a fine August Bank Holiday saturday 20 years ago before there was all the fuss. 8 Years later NGM was dancing with excitement at sighting over 40 in the Bay. So if the boats didnt scare them away then, what has changed? NGM own figures, (discounting the 90 boiats he saw between 28th and 30th February one year, and the 350 he saw mid week one November, show that there are normally around 120 boats as above ona fine weekend, and mid week May - Aug around 35. WHn the weathre goes back this drops to a small handfull. Reality is that when there isa good summer the Bay is busy so are the seahorses, when the weather is bad (remember the disasterous run of cold wet summersa few years ago? Visiting boat numbers dropped to near zero for weeks on end (I havea local observer who walks there most days), as everyone stayed away. So did the seahorses!
 

Mistroma

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I saw NGM on the One Show last week (21st) and remember thinking that they acknowledged him as an expert and accepted everything he claimed. I think he mentioned 350 boat, big resurgence in seahorse numbers because there had been no boats anchoring during lockdown. I think that he went on a dive with Steve Backshall and immediately found a particular male seahorse which was regularly pregnant.

Good bit of advertising for him by the BBC as NGM only gave his "expert evidence". Little chance of the BBC ever questioning his qualifications or actual evidence.
 

ryanroberts

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I think that he went on a dive with Steve Backshall and immediately found a particular male seahorse which was regularly pregnant.
Probably getting a little bit too lounge but males getting pregnant is easy media attention.
 

Blue Sunray

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Perhaps someone should tell www.visitmyharbour.com about the science

Poole Harbour, Approach and Entrance, Anchorages at Studland Bay and South Deep [Expanded View] - Channel, West: pilotage, charts, photos and marine business listings

Update 2018. We have been advised by DEFRA that there has been no shift in the policy here and that there are no legal restrictions on anchoring in Studland Bay. It's up to you; there is little doubt that the density of anchoring boats is having a detrimental effect on the eel grass beds so, if you can find somewhere to anchor that is not directly over some of these beds it would be thoughtful to do so
 

Robin

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back home where democracy needs no guns
Perhaps someone should tell www.visitmyharbour.com about the science

Poole Harbour, Approach and Entrance, Anchorages at Studland Bay and South Deep [Expanded View] - Channel, West: pilotage, charts, photos and marine business listings

Update 2018. We have been advised by DEFRA that there has been no shift in the policy here and that there are no legal restrictions on anchoring in Studland Bay. It's up to you; there is little doubt that the density of anchoring boats is having a detrimental effect on the eel grass beds so, if you can find somewhere to anchor that is not directly over some of these beds it would be thoughtful to do so

There fixed that for you. 🤔
 

Boathook

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Mistroma

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Just received via email a link to Call for evidence - MMO assessment of fishing and non-licensable activity impacts in Marine Protected Areas - Defra - Citizen Space

One of the documents is 93 pages and the other 8. There is also a link to a online survey. No doubt others more learned than me will understand it all better even after I have read it !

There are a few other links but the seem to refer to fisheries around the country.
I had a quick look at the "MCZ call for evidence letter".

It states that advice and best available evidence has determined
  1. Subtidal sand is sensitive to any type of mooring or anchoring.
  2. Seagrass is sensitive to any type of mooring/anchoring, moving around in any way (engine, motor, sailing, drifting)

Extract
The draft MMO assessment of marine non-licensable activity impacts at this site, taking into account advice from Natural England and best available evidence, has determined that the subtidal sand feature is sensitive to impacts from mooring and anchoring (all vessels); the seagrass bed feature is sensitive to impacts from mooring and anchoring (all vessels) and powerboating and sailing with an engine and long-snouted seahorse are sensitive to impacts from mooring and anchoring (all vessels) and powerboating and sailing with/without an engine.


It sounds as if it is being presented as a solid case that pretty much everything will cause damage (except natural storms of course). Did I misunderstand?

At least it is a "draft assessment" and they are seeking views about the conclusions they seem to have reached.

I assume that they must be saying that just sailing through the area could cause damage from anti-foul, rubbish tossed overboard, grey or black water discharge and so forth. Luck that water doesn't move around in the sea and that will prevent any contamination from external sources.
 
Last edited:

doug748

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Yes, and they have explicitly said they have ruled out merely monitoring anchoring and mooring (options 1) and therefore will be recommending action.

Does not sound much of a "draft assessment" so far.



.
 

oldharry

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I know double posting is frowned on, but I just posted this on the main forum, to draw more attention to it.

MMO today launched their promised consultation with stakeholders seeking additional evidence before deciding on management protocols for the Studland Bay MCZ. The consultation document lists the various options they are considering:

Anchoring: Option 1: Voluntary anchoring controls. This is the BORG preferred option, but MMO do not believe it would provide ‘sufficient protection’

Option 2: Voluntary no anchor zones

Option 3: Compulsory No anchor zones

Option 4: Full ban on anchoring. This has serious safety implications, as well as closing a major tourism site

Speed limits: The purpose here is to reduce underwater noise from powered boats. The whole subject of underwater noise pollution and its effect on marine life is one Natural England have been researching genrally for a while.

Option 1 – None Speeding jetskis and power boats within the anchorage hves I am told been an issue particularly recently but as a safety issue unrelated to the MCZ

Option 2. Voluntary speed limit. Unpoliced who takes any notice? Its been an issue raised even here in the forums this year.

Option 3: Compulsory speed limits. As 2

Option 4. Ban on powered boats using the Bay Safety and tourism implications

Option 5. Total Ban on everything including sailing boats.

There is also a section on moorings, of which there are around 30. Again options range from do nothing, to a full ban on moorings. These are subject to direct MMO control anyway as there is no Harbour Authority so have to comply to MMO directives.


The MMO call for evidence can be found here:
https://consult.defra.gov.uk/mmo/call-for-evidence-mmo-mpa-assessments/

If you respond, please remember that the are seeking ‘evidence’, which is something conspicuously lacking over the Studland recommendations. Most of the NE recommendations for Studland are based on ‘expert opinion’, not on actual study, with a liberal sprinkling of contributions from NGM. The issue is that there is little or no recorded history of the Bay before around 1996. NE and the Science Sdvisory Committee chose to ignore entirely the not inconsiderable knowledge base about conditions in the Bay over the last 60 years, and dismissed it as ‘anecodotal’. Had they listened to locals, they would know how the eelgrass has continued to expand, its cyclical growth patterns over a period of years, the almost random appearance and disappearance of the non-existent ‘seahorse colony’, and would have a much better idea of the effect of generations of boats anchoring in the Bay. Instead they choose to compare it to a different and vastly more sensitive species of eelgrass, and attribute the non sightings of seahorses in one tiny patch of the Bay to boat anchoring which has gone on for a century before anyone took any notice!

Newcomers to the Studland Debate might like to refer to the work we have done examining the evidence, before responding. Boat Owners Response Group and from that page: http://boatownersresponse.org.uk/Tr3-Consultation-Response.pdf

If anchoring prohibitions are used here there will be huge implications for safety, tourism, and for UK sailing in general as limitations like these are increased to the point where UK sailing will be reduced to marina hopping with potentially life changing fines for those who dare disobey
 

DJE

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If they proceed having chosen to ignore evidence then what price a judicial review?
 

oldharry

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The Precautionary Principle precludes the need for hard evidence and is used extensively in conservation. Natural England experts beleive a risk exists, therefore steps must be taken to mitigate it. The weight of historical evidence cannot be quantified therefore is discounted when assessing potential damage, particualrly when it suits conservation politics! A judicial review would be unlikely to be allowed because 'expert opinion' says a potential risk remains.
 

Tomahawk

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A legal type question..

Is the precautionary principle... there may be a risk but there is no evidence so an activity must be banned as a precaution... compatible with Article 10 of the declaration of human rights.. the right to a fair trial?

The precautionary principle would see navigation banned as a precaution against harm. But a precaution denies evidence. A mariner navigating on the open seas could be convicted on the basis of no evidence.
 

oldharry

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A legal type question..

Is the precautionary principle... there may be a risk but there is no evidence so an activity must be banned as a precaution... compatible with Article 10 of the declaration of human rights.. the right to a fair trial?

The precautionary principle would see navigation banned as a precaution against harm. But a precaution denies evidence. A mariner navigating on the open seas could be convicted on the basis of no evidence.
Conservationists liken the precautionary principle to Insurance. It may never happen, but you buy cover in case it does. You will very quickly be done by plod if you dont insure your car, even if you havent had a claim for 20+ years! It doesnt answer the question, but puts it in perspective. It also gives anyone who styles himself an expert absolute control over the rest of us! In the ' conservo' political parties that is what its all about - gaining control over the masses. In Studland it would mean only the chosen few can enjoy this beautiful place! Sounds familiar doesnt it!
 

Tomahawk

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Yes.. but there is a difference.. that of evidence.
Denying someone the freedon to drive at any speed anywhere is proven by evidence to reduce the likelyhood of accidents. Certainly there is ample evidence that lower speed accidents are less severe. Ditto drink driving.The same applies to insurance. There is ample evidence that not having insurance will cause financial harm to the innocent victim of an accident.

The conservos argument that prcaution is an insurqnce dows not stand up to demand for evidence. In short it amounts to no more than belief. To convict someone on the grounds of belief does not stand up to legal scrutiny. Implementing a MCZ is a mechanism to implement a belief.

As to your comment about the chosen few.. I have thought on that.. Conservation needs be carried out by fully academically qualified scientists only as part of annual monitoring survey. For the rest of the year... absolutely no entry into the water for anyone.... especially NMG.
 
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