Possible SAC Studland to Portland
RYA does not consider that the case has been made to introduce restrictions on anchoring.
An area of sea between Studland and Portland off the South Dorset coast has been identified by Natural England as a possible Special Area of Conservation (pSAC).
The RYA responded to the public consultation (Nov 2011) because it believes that the designation of a SAC in this sea area could impact upon the ability for recreational boaters to anchor.
Under EU law the Habitats Directive does not allow socio-economic impacts, such as recreational boating, to be considered when site boundaries for possible Special Areas of Conservation are considered. They may be taken account of when management measures are considered.
Management measures, which include a restriction on anchoring will affect the public right of navigation, of which anchoring is part. In areas where restrictions are being considered, the RYA’s policy position is that such restrictions:
- Should only be introduced if sound scientific evidence confirms that a particular protected feature and vessel anchoring cannot reasonably co-exist in a particular area.
- Should be confined to the specific parts of an area in which anchoring and the protected habitat or wildlife feature cannot reasonably co-exist.
- Should not be imposed unless it can be demonstrated that such a restriction will be effective in protecting the habitat or a wildlife feature. should not be imposed unless it can be demonstrated that such a restriction will be enforceable and enforced.
- Should not be imposed unless the area in which it is to be applied is properly marked on navigational charts and/or by physical marking such as buoyage.
- Should not be imposed unless appropriate alternative facilities or management measures are available or made available in the locality in which the restriction is to be applied.
Natural England believe this sea area has one of the best examples of reef habitat eligible for protection under the Habitats Directive, to form part of a network of protected areas for important or threatened wildlife habitats and species across the European Union.
It also maintains that the Studland to Portland possible Special Area of Conservation (pSAC) has wide geological variety supporting species such as the nationally uncommon pink sea fan, cup corals and reef forming mussels. The reef also supports a wide variety of species found in cold and warm water as well as those found typically in the English Channel
Studland to Portland SAC to go ahead
Special Area of Conservation Studland to Portland has been given the go ahead by the Environment Minister ... read more
Studland to Portland pSAC latest news
RYA is challenging the conclusion of the consultation's Impact Assessment that 'restrictions on anchoring may be introduced' ... read more