Studland - MMO Management protocols for the MCZ in place from 17th December

oldharry

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Spring Update from Studland Bay Marine Partnership whose long term stated aim is to "Create a draft management strategy and vision for the next 10 years that all users of Studland Bay can believe in and work towards" Seems to me they will need to get their science right first if the want to be seen to be credible. Eelgrass does NOT behave like any other more fragile tropical and subtropical seagrass species as we well know

They have raised around £1/4m from Dorset CC and MMO to further their existence. They say they are carrying out further monitoring on a more objective basis than we are used to in this saga - I hope! Its still too easy to see what you want to see in the sea!

SBMP Spring Update here
 

ImpImp

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Have experts such as oldharry contributed to this current RYA article?

Anchoring with care

From this passage I's guess not

"Seagrass beds are rapidly declining and are becoming especially scarce in UK waters. If all water users make a conscious effort to anchor with care, there is a chance that we may be able to save this essential habitat."

RYA falling in line uncritically with dodgy data even though its been show to be dubious at best?

More like ignorant journalism than a body representing the interests of boaters/yachtspeople.
 

Boathook

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From this passage I's guess not

"Seagrass beds are rapidly declining and are becoming especially scarce in UK waters. If all water users make a conscious effort to anchor with care, there is a chance that we may be able to save this essential habitat."

RYA falling in line uncritically with dodgy data even though its been show to be dubious at best?

More like ignorant journalism than a body representing the interests of boaters/yachtspeople.
More and more I think that the rya don't represent boaters but themselves. They are becoming or have become another government department forwarding on whatever they are given without checking content. As you say, ignorant journalism.
 

oldharry

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Certainly not rgarside!

The idea of the 'Anchoring with Care' leaflet was first proposed by me at a meeting in 2013 and was enthusiastically taken up and sponsored by the RYA in cooperation with the MMO , Natural England, the Wildlife Trusts and Studland Residents. (NGM and Seahorse Trust refused to take part!). I had a free hand and a lot of support by RYA in setting up and chairing the working party that produced the original leaflet. It highlighted a number of simple things we can do to reduce disturbance to the wildlife in the Bay. It was distributed to boats in the Bay by volunteers from the Dorset Wildlife Trust, who reported a very positive response to the leaflet by boaters in the Bay.

The Head of Environmental then moved on along with their then Head of Legal, who incidantly also fought valiantly for our rights in all this, particualrly in the original legislation, and their successors turned out to have very different attitudes. It seemed to me the emphasis shifted from advising owners on what we need to do to reduce any impact our sport may have on the environment in places like Studland, to the perception that boats ARE causing a lot of damage, which the RYA must mitigate in order to help save the environment.

I ended up having a furious argument with the then CEO over this and pulling out of the whole project.

This did not prevent them from using my work and twisting it round to suit current policy. This latest is, I think the fourth re-iteration. I have had nothing whatsoever to do with it.
 
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oldharry

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From this passage I's guess not

"Seagrass beds are rapidly declining and are becoming especially scarce in UK waters. If all water users make a conscious effort to anchor with care, there is a chance that we may be able to save this essential habitat."

RYA falling in line uncritically with dodgy data even though its been show to be dubious at best?

More like ignorant journalism than a body representing the interests of boaters/yachtspeople.
Quite so, and in this leaflet they have fallen into that same misuse of 'evidence' that so bedevils this whole question:

The third picture is, according to the context, meant to demonstrate the 'damage' a mooring chain can do in eelgrass? Well there is of course a mooring chain lying across it, so it must have done all that damage? dreadful isnt it? No. The only thing that is dreadful is the level of ignorance shown by whoever picked that photo. I have spent many hundreds of hours poring over photos showing what mooring and anchor chains actually do to the seabed.

The hole in the seagrass here was never caused by the chain that is lying across it. Its physically impossible. If you look carefully you will see the chain continues to the bottom of the picture through undamaged seagrass back to the mooring root. Mooring chains simply never do that. They invariably create a usually fairly exact circle through the swept area, with the mooring sinker in the centre.

So what did cause it? Somebody ran aground at the far end of the hole, and revved their engine hard to get off, blasting a large hole in the sand with the propwash. The hole shows allthe characteristics of this. The far end where the boat was stuck is very narrow in the vicinity of the prop, and quite deep directly aft of it,. where the wash is concentrated, then spreading out in an entrely characteristic narrow fan shape as the energy disperses. Look carefully at the edge nearest to the camera, and you will see where sand from the scour has been deposited on top of the seagrass. This is really the ONLY way a boat can cause serious damage to eelgrass. Sad the 'experts' employed by our National sailing organisation who ae supposed to look after our interests seem unaware of this, and make such a simple schoolboy mistake!
 

doug748

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"Sad the 'experts' employed by our National sailing organisation who ae supposed to look after our interests seem unaware of this, and make such a simple schoolboy mistake!"


Yes. Activism, sentiment, minority politics and the pursuit of social policy seem to trump Science nowadays and, as always, the media will jump on any convenient band wagon.
It's depressing but we must bugger on; as Churchill said.

.
 

RobbieW

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The latest RYA news has a piece from the CEO with her email address. It mentions thier environmental concerns, in the next day or so I intend writing her an email outlining my concerns over thier use of inaccurate science wrt seagrass in the UK. I made similar comments in thier recent survey
 

rgarside

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Certainly not rgarside!

The idea of the 'Anchoring with Care' leaflet was first proposed by me at a meeting in 2013 and was enthusiastically taken up and sponsored by the RYA in cooperation with the MMO , Natural England, the Wildlife Trusts and Studland Residents. (NGM and Seahorse Trust refused to take part!). I had a free hand and a lot of support by RYA in setting up and chairing the working party that produced the original leaflet. It highlighted a number of simple things we can do to reduce disturbance to the wildlife in the Bay. It was distributed to boats in the Bay by volunteers from the Dorset Wildlife Trust, who reported a very positive response to the leaflet by boaters in the Bay.

The Head of Environmental then moved on along with their then Head of Legal, who incidantly also fought valiantly for our rights in all this, particualrly in the original legislation, and their successors turned out to have very different attitudes. It seemed to me the emphasis shifted from advising owners on what we need to do to reduce any impact our sport may have on the environment in places like Studland, to the perception that boats ARE causing a lot of damage, which the RYA must mitigate in order to help save the environment.

I ended up having a furious argument with the then CEO over this and pulling out of the whole project.

This did not prevent them from using my work and twisting it round to suit current policy. This latest is, I think the fourth re-iteration. I have had nothing whatsoever to do with it.
Thanks for taking the time to reply on what must be a painful history to recount. I suspected that this might be the case, but it is useful in making comments back to the RYA to know the facts. I hope that RYA members and former members will let the RYA know of their concerns about the organisation they subscribe to in the hope that it represents their interests.

I'd like to thank you for the years of efforts you have made to apply a rational and scientific approach to this issue. I hope that you will continue to be engaged in it.
 

rgarside

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The latest RYA news has a piece from the CEO with her email address. It mentions thier environmental concerns, in the next day or so I intend writing her an email outlining my concerns over thier use of inaccurate science wrt seagrass in the UK. I made similar comments in thier recent survey
Could you please tell me where to find that, I have been through the last RYA News I received and so far have been too dense to identify that bit of information.
 

oldharry

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MMO have published their report for 2023 on the MCZ Available https://assets.publishing.service.g...a2fa78e7da893/2023_Studland_Review_Report.pdf

They comment that adherence to the VNAZ is not yet sufficient to ensure recovery for the eelgrass, but the take up of the existing eco moorings suggests to them that with more becoming available it is moving towards sustainability. They do not intend at this stage to implement any compulsory anchor ban.
 

Boathook

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The buoys showing the area not to anchor in are going in place presently. I saw a link on faceache Christchurch Harbour Watch | The Studland Bay VNAZ perimeter buoys being installed | Facebook The style of buoy is also shown in the report.

Scan read the report and still find it biased, though for the first time I did notice a few lines to the extent that a lot of people have said that the eelgrass has expanded over the decades. This is tempered by the comment that it is poor quality eelgrass.

I have read somewhere that a voluntary no anchor zone is being created for Osbourne Bay and may be one in the western Solent.
 

SaltyC

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MMO have published their report for 2023 on the MCZ Available https://assets.publishing.service.g...a2fa78e7da893/2023_Studland_Review_Report.pdf

They comment that adherence to the VNAZ is not yet sufficient to ensure recovery for the eelgrass, but the take up of the existing eco moorings suggests to them that with more becoming available it is moving towards sustainability. They do not intend at this stage to implement any compulsory anchor ban.
But from my skim read there is NO evidence that the no anchor zone has helped?
Everything is subjective and not conclusive to justify their actions.
 
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