Category: News

Excavation – Preservation – Conservation

Grant Funding to Protect Rare Bronze Age Log Boats at Flag Fen in Peterborough

Historic England has awarded a grant of £73,261 to ensure the conservation and protection of rare Bronze Age log boats at Flag Fen in Cambridgeshire.

In order to ensure the long-term protection of this important aspect of our national culture, Historic England has stepped in with grant funding for a three-year project to develop the conservation and preservation of the log boats. Match funding of £48,854 has been provided by Peterborough City Council. The conservation work will be led by York Archaeological Trust.

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Oysters Improve Health of Coastal Waters

A project to return native oysters to the UK in a bid to improve the health of coastal waters will start growing thousands of the shellfish beneath harbour pontoons.

Ecologists consider oysters to be “ocean superheroes” for their ability to filter sediment, nitrates and other pollutants from the seas.

Nitrate-based fertilisers can end up in the sea as a result of run-off from farmland or sewage spills, causing algal blooms that deprive the water of vital oxygen.

A mature oyster can filter up to 200 litres of water a day, but native oysters are on the brink of extinction, with numbers declining 95% since the 1800s.

Around 4,000 mature oysters will be installed in six harbours across the North East of England, Wales and Scotland as part of the Wild Oyster Project.

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The Crown and The Celtic Sea

The Crown Estate has announced that it is commencing work to design and deliver a new leasing opportunity for early commercial-scale floating wind projects in the Celtic Sea. 

The leasing process will focus on projects of circa 300MW in scale – up to 3 times larger than any rights previously awarded to floating wind in the UK – demonstrating a new frontier for the sector and an important step towards the Government’s ambition to deliver 1 GW of floating wind by 2030. 

The news follows The Crown Estate’s invitation to the market, in December 2020, to come forward with views on how best to accelerate the development of floating wind in the UK, including welcoming feedback on the potential scale and location of future rights and the best route to help build the related supply chain.  

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‘Red-Hot’ Demand for UK Cruise Ports

Days after the announcements of resumed cruising in the UK and several cruise lines redeploying their ships to England for UK coastal sailings, major British cruise ports are struggling to cope with the demand from cruise lines.

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Trawl Fishing Ban off Sussex Coast Aims to Restore Seaweed Forests

Damaging trawl fishing has been banned in more than 100 square miles of seabed off Sussex to help once vast kelp forests recover.

A new bylaw has been approved to prohibit trawling year-round over large areas along the entire Sussex coast closest to the shore, to help habitats regenerate and improve fisheries, Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) said.

Wildlife groups hope that the move, which they said will protect 117 square miles (304 square kilometres) of coastal seabed, will help with “rewilding” the sea by allowing the underwater seaweed forests to regenerate.

It follows a campaign to protect kelp, supported by Sir David Attenborough, who has described the approval of the new bylaw as a “landmark decision” for the management of UK coastal waters.

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North Sea Transition Deal

The UK government has announced a North Sea Transition Deal with industry, aiming to support high-skilled oil and gas workers and the supply chain in the transition to a low carbon future.

The sector deal between the UK government and oil and gas industry will support workers, businesses, and the supply chain through this transition by harnessing the industry’s existing capabilities, infrastructure and private investment potential to exploit new and emerging technologies such as offshore wind, hydrogen production, Carbon Capture Usage and Storage, and decommissioning.

Through the deal, the oil and gas sector, largely based in Scotland and the North East, government and trade unions will work together over the next decade and beyond with the aim to deliver the skills, innovations and new infrastructure required to decarbonise North Sea production.

Extracting oil and gas on the UK Continental Shelf is directly responsible for around 3.5% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. Through the package of measures, the Deal is expected to cut pollution by up to 60 million tonnes by 2030 including 15 million tonnes from oil and gas production on the UK Continental Shelf – the equivalent of annual emissions from 90% of the UK’s homes – while supporting up to 40,000 jobs across the supply chain.

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The Future is ‘Clean Green Marine’

Hydrogen-powered vessels and e-charge points at ports could soon become a common sight on our seas and in our coastal towns, thanks to a £20 million competition launched to make innovative green maritime ideas a reality.

The fund will be used to support the development of prototype vessels and port infrastructure that could then be rolled out widely – propelling the sector towards net zero as the UK prepares to host the COP26 climate change summit in November.

The Government is encouraging scientists and academics to collaborate with UK shipping, ports and shipbuilders to enter ambitious proposals into the competition, driving economic growth, revitalising coastal communities, creating thousands of jobs, and positioning the country as a leader in the field. The trials will enable companies to test the new technologies, with a view to them being developed commercially if proven to be successful, helping us build back greener from the pandemic.

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Logistical Nightmare!

The Ever Given grounding will have a big impact not just on the physical shipping and ports business, but on the whole maritime white-collar services sector as well, according to sources in marine insurance and ship finance.

Like everyone else, professionals in these areas are still watching how developments roll out in real time. But the likely payout is already being assessed as likely to hit nine-figure dollars.

Hull and machinery and cargo claims could be mercifully limited. The ship itself, as far as is known, is not badly damaged, and again as far as is known, the cargo is largely unscathed.

The big-ticket exposure will be for liability, especially if the Suez Canal Authority decides to impose penalties on operator Evergreen or decides to seek compensation for its loss of revenue.

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ABP Unveils Ambitious Vision for Port of Lowestoft

Associated British Ports (ABP) has announced its ambitious plans for the Port of Lowestoft, which will help create a competitive edge for companies across the Southern North Sea (SNS) energy sector and the wider East Anglia region.

Over the next five years, ABP will develop the Lowestoft Eastern Energy Facility (LEEF), which will bring significant upgrades to marine facilities at Lowestoft’s Outer Harbour, creating key capabilities to support the UK’s journey towards achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions. The project will deliver state-of-the-art port infrastructure to meet the offshore energy industry’s current and future demands, ensuring the port can accommodate the next generation of offshore support vessels. The facility will provide a site that is suitable for Operations & Maintenance (O&M) activities in addition to quayside suitable for construction support activities.

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London Holds Its Own in Maritime Arbitration Despite Pandemic

London is retaining its role as the world’s leading centre for maritime arbitration and dispute resolution whilst adapting to the new requirements of the pandemic, according to Bruce Harris, president of the London Maritime Arbitration Association (LMAA).

Last year’s number of cases started by LMAA members was also the highest for five years, showing that London’s role as maritime arbitration capital so far has not been affected by the pandemic, although here Harris sounded a warning note.

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