Culmulative effects of marine aggregate extraction in an

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This report should be cited as Cooper K M Cumulative effects of marine aggregate extraction in an area east of the. Isle of Wight a fishing industry perspective Sci Ser Tech Rep CEFAS Lowestoft 126 28pp. Crown copyright 2005, This publication excluding the logos may be re used free of charge in any format or medium for research for. non commercial purposes private study or for internal circulation within an organisation This is subject to it. being re used accurately and not used in a misleading context The material must be acknowledged as Crown. copyright and the title of the publication specified. This publication is also available at www cefas co uk. For any other use of this material please apply for a Click Use Licence for core material at www hmso gov uk. copyright licences core core licence htm or by writing to. HMSO s Licensing Division,St Clements House,2 16 Colegate. Fax 01603 723000,E mail licensing cabinet office x gsi gov uk. CONTENTS Page,ABSTRACT 5,1 Introduction 5,2 Methods 6. 2 1 Location of fishing effort and concerns of fishermen 6. 2 2 Extent of dredging activity 7, 2 3 Evaluation of fishery concerns using Ems data 7.
3 Results 7, 3 1 Location of fishing effort and concerns of fishermen 7. 3 1 1 Bembridge 7,3 1 2 Portsmouth Gosport 8,3 1 3 Langstone Harbour 10. 3 1 4 Chichester 11,3 1 5 East Wittering 12,3 1 6 Selsey 12. 3 1 7 Bognor Regis 13,3 1 8 Littlehampton 13,3 1 9 Worthing 14. 3 1 10 Shoreham 14,3 2 Extent of dredging activity 15.
3 3 Evaluation of fishery concerns in relation to ems data 15. 3 3 1 Assessment of the influence of dredging on brown crab populations 19. 3 3 2 Assessment of the influence of dredging on trawling grounds 20. 3 3 3 Assessment of the potential for loss of smooth hound angling ground 20. 3 3 4 Assessment of the potential interference with netting grounds 22. 4 Discussion 23,5 Conclusions 26,6 Acknowledgements 27. 7 References 27, ABSTRACT approach to help with these assessments is through the. use of a Geographic Information System GIS which, The purpose of this study was to document the nature can be used to map fishery and fishery resource areas. and distribution of local fisheries and associated effort allowing for a more quantitative assessment of the. and to report the views of the fishing industry in potential impacts from future dredging licences and. relation to perceived impacts of aggregate dredging on other human activities. their activities As such this study does not to seek to. address questions over the relative impacts of the two. industries merely to provide a perspective from those. 1 INTRODUCTION, engaged in fishing in the area so as to contribute to Fisheries management aims to ensure the sustainable. informed debate and the sustainable use of resources exploitation of stocks However in addition to fishing. Relevant information was obtained by interviewing pressure other factors have the potential to affect the. a representative sample of local fishermen with sustainability of fisheries on various spatial scales. experience deploying gear in the vicinity of areas of One such concern is that of marine aggregate dredging. aggregate extraction This was accompanied by a an activity which has expanded in recent years as a. review of published information discussions with the result of the increasing demands of the construction. Sea Fisheries Inspectorate Sea Fisheries Committees industry and the tightening of legislation governing the. and CEFAS fisheries scientists The findings were use of land based resources Lart 1991. examined in relation to the known extent of dredging. operations in recent years determined through an Marine aggregate extraction activities are known. analysis of Electronic Monitoring System EMS data to impact the marine environment in a variety of. ways some of which have the potential to affect, Results indicate a general avoidance of licensed fisheries These impacts include restriction of access.
areas by static gear fishermen due to the potential to fishing grounds local destruction or damage to. for gear damage This area avoidance has the effect benthic organisms as a direct result of the passage of. of increasing fishing pressure in alternative grounds the drag head Lees et al 1992 and the potential. remote from dredging and has led to increasing for wider area effects due to the re distribution of. concerns amongst fishermen over the sustainability finer material Dredging may also in time alter the. of already heavily exploited stocks in these areas A physical characteristics of sediments and the seabed. further issue highlighted by this study concerns vessel Millner et al 1977 and Dickson and Lee 1973 with. safety in relation to the increased distances offshore potential longer term consequences for dependent. that some of these relatively small vessels 14 m are benthic organisms Boyd et al 2003 Boyd et al. working and this was attributed by fishermen to be a 2005 including fish shellfish populations As a result. direct consequence of displacement from extraction marine aggregate extraction activities have been a. areas Declines in brown crab Cancer pagurus stocks cause of concern to the fishing industry although. were also reported by interviewed fishermen to the separating perception from reality can be problematic. south of the Isle of Wight and possible factors which as in many other coastal issues involving the potential. may explain this observation are discussed including for conflict between overlapping commercial interests. over fishing and the potential interference of dredging See for example Fishing News 1991 1992 2000. operations in the movement of crab populations into 2001a 2001b 2001c 2001d 2001e 2001f BBC. fishing grounds Wildlife 1999 as expressions of the high public and. political profile of this issue,The study also identified previously fished areas. that are now avoided by trawlers due to perceived The fishing industry has expressed particular concern. changes in the nature of the seabed The hydrographic over the potential for cumulative effects in areas where. conditions in the area suggest that these features e g there are local concentrations of marine aggregate. dredged tracks and depressions may persist for several extraction licences The impacts from one licence may. years The potential loss of grounds for trawl fisheries be minor but when added to the effects of other nearby. may also result in the displacement of vessels into licences or other man made activities they may be. other areas leading to conflicts with other gear types more severe. Finally this study identified charter angling grounds. in which anglers have observed significant declines in As part of the current licensing process in UK waters. catches of smooth hound Mustelus mustelus A large Environmental Statements are prepared in order to. proportion 75 of this area was dredged in 2001 and identify potential impacts from proposed extraction. therefore dredging cannot be ruled out as a causative activities and to evaluate their acceptability In. factor order to assess potential impacts on local fisheries. information is often gleaned from interviewing local. It is recommended that in order to ensure the fishermen as reliable quantitative information is. sustainability of local fishing interests consideration commonly not available on the localised scales that. is given to potential repercussions resulting from the are associated with licence applications This source. exclusion of fishermen from certain areas A suggested of information has proved valuable particularly when. observations can be corroborated by available scientific existing information on the distribution of commercial. information Neis et al 1999 In order to objectively species other relevant historical information and. address the concerns of fishermen it is necessary patterns in the exploitation of the marine aggregate. to have a proper understanding of the extent of both resource The limited resources available for the. fishing and the impact of dredging operations The conduct of the investigation determined that it could not. former may be established from a variety of sources be comprehensive Thus for example it is recognised. see below although the outcome is often relatively that attempts to better quantify historical trends in local. inconclusive In contrast the latter may be precisely catches insofar as information of sufficient accuracy. determined at least in recent years through Electronic exists or to initiate log book schemes for evaluating. Monitoring System EMS data which provide current performance may in future usefully augment. information on the location and intensity of dredging the findings of the present study. This study examines an area to the east of the Isle of. Wight Figure 1 where there are a number of dredging 2 1 Location of fishing effort and. licences which coincide with various fishery interests concerns of fishermen. The aims of the study are to, The location of fishing activity in this area has been. 1 Identify the location of fishing activity investigated at different times by various authors. 2 Identify issues of concern in relation to marine For example Plumb 1996 EMU 1998 1999a. aggregate extraction through interviews with 1999b METOC 1997 However the results of these. fishermen investigations cannot be taken to be representative. 3 Determine the spatial and temporal extent of of the current situation and hence it was necessary. dredging operations on the seabed using annual to obtain up to date information The main species. Electronic Monitoring System EMS data targeted and the commercial and charter fishing. 4 Assess the relationships between 1 3 above interests were identified by reference to the literature. 5 Draw conclusions regarding the presence and Pawson 1995 Gray 1995 Defra landing statistics. significance of any cumulative impacts of and advice from the local officers of the Sea Fisheries. aggregate dredging on local fisheries Inspectorate and Sea Fisheries Committees Within. the area of study there are a very large number of. Inter relationships between aims 1 3 were addressed fishermen many of whom are part time It was. through combining the outcome of interviews with therefore necessary to identify key fishermen from. a representative selection of local fishermen with each port and fishery to obtain representative coverage. Application licence boundary,Aggregate licence boundary. Disposal ground, Figure 1 Study area and location of current and proposed marine aggregate extraction licences. Interviews were conducted between 7th September and various seasonally abundant species including dover. 21st December 2001 Fishermen were invited to give sole Solea solea plaice Pleuronectes platessa brill. an overview of their activities including the location Scopthalamus rhombus turbot Psetta maxima and. extent and success of fishing operations They were bass Dicentrarchus labrax Local fishermen report. also invited to offer their views on any relationship that the number of full time vessels fishing from. between their activities and those of the aggregate Bembridge has fallen from thirteen to six in the last. extraction industry in the locality Where possible ten years a decline which they attribute to the general. individuals were interviewed separately and have not decline in the brown crab stock Interviews were. been identified by name at their request in order conducted with seven potters six based in Bembridge. to respect confidentiality The precise location of and one from Ventnor and one netter also based in. certain individual s fishing grounds have also not been Bembridge. identified for reasons of confidentiality Therefore. maps of fishing grounds shown in Figures 2 8 may Potters. comprise contributions from a number of individuals The main potting grounds used by Bembridge vessels. are to the south of the Isle of Wight and are subdivided. 2 2 Extent of dredging activity with individual fishermen occupying a specific area see. Figure 2 Pots are laid across the tide in a north south. The extent of the direct impact of dredging activity on direction and a mile is left between strings to prevent. the seabed was determined using Electronic Monitoring entanglement This arrangement is agreed between. System EMS data collated by the Crown Estate the fishermen from this port and ensures an equitable. Maps were prepared from these data for the period distribution across the grounds The arrangement is also. 1993 2001 in order to identify the location and intensity important for vessel safety as it reduces the risk of pot. of dredging in individual years These were imported strings set by different vessels becoming tangled This. into MAPINFO a Geographic Information System is of particular concern to local fishermen as vessels of. GIS package Data from individual years were also different sizes are able to set different length strings. combined to produce maps showing the cumulative The majority of these fishermen work alone and are. extent of dredging in the region to the east of the Isle of therefore keen to avoid dangerous situations as far as. Wight since 1993 possible However instances have arisen where strings. have become tangled particularly at the eastern end of. 2 3 Evaluation of fishery concerns the grounds where a larger vessel from the mainland. using EMS data has moved into this area reportedly as a result of. ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to document the nature and distribution of local fisheries and associated effort and to report the views of the fishing industry in relation to perceived impacts of aggregate dredging on their activities As such this study does not to seek to address questions over the relative impacts of the two industries merely to provide a perspective from those

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