Call for Evidence launched to progress marine conservation efforts

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has launched a Call for Evidence on the impacts of fishing activity in 13 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

It follows the announcement of Byelaws to prohibit damaging fishing activity in four MPAs last month, including Dogger Bank and the Canyons, which will come into force on 13 June 2022.

The MMO are now seeking views on the impacts of bottom towed gear (BTG) fishing in 13 more MPAs which contain some of the most sensitive features at risk from this activity, including rock, and rocky and biogenic reef.

The evidence put forward at this stage will be used to inform MMO’s assessments ahead of formal consultation on management of the sites.

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Scottish Maritime Museum Trust begins conservation of oldest Clyde -built vessel still afloat with cryogenic blasting

After smashing the target in a Crowdfunder last Autumn, the Scottish Maritime Museum has started essential conservation work on one of Britain’s most historic vessels, MV Kyles, beginning with state of the art, environmentally-sensitive, dry ice blasting.

With the money raised through the Keep the Kyles Afloat Crowdfunder, the Scottish Maritime Museum was able to commission specialists ECO DRY ICE, which is based in Dumfries and Galloway, and trial the innovative new paint and debris removal technique which is also known as cryogenic blasting.

The exterior of MV Kyles, which is the world’s oldest floating Clyde-built vessel and part of National Historic Ships UK National Historic Fleet, has now been transformed through this economical and environmentally-friendly method.

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England’s largest seagrass restoration project is under way

Work on England’s largest seagrass planting effort is taking place in Plymouth Sound National Marine Park.

It is estimated that the UK may have lost up to 92 per cent of its seagrass. Factors including wasting disease, pollution and physical disturbance have been identified as contributing causes. Seagrass meadows provide homes for juvenile fish and protected creatures like seahorses and stalked jellyfish. Seagrass also has an integral role in stabilising the seabed, cleaning the surrounding seawater and capturing and storing significant amounts of carbon.

Launched last week and lasting four years, the scheme aims to plant eight hectares of biodiverse-rich seagrass meadows off the south coast: four in Plymouth Sound and four in the Solent Maritime Special Area of Conservation. 

Led by Natural England, the LIFE Recreation ReMEDIES project has been spurred along by local volunteers, who helped bag the seeds at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth.

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