The RYA has joined forces with industry partners to help explore the types and benefits of Environmentally Friendly Moorings (EFMs) and has today launched a new information hub to bring together current findings and views.

In October 2017, a workshop on EFMs was held by the National Trust with Natural England and the Marine Management Organisation, to bring together all parties with an interest in EFMs to discuss their status, current projects, and future. Discussions involved users, regulators and advisors.

As a result of this workshop, which identified the need to improve the sharing of information, a decision was made to create an information hub to bring together UK experience of EFMs, and the RYA offered to host the new website pages.

What are they?

Environmentally Friendly Moorings (EFMs), or eco moorings, are mooring systems designed to have less impact on the sea bed than conventional swing moorings. They aim to minimise interaction with the seabed to prevent abrasion and therefore the potential to damage sensitive habitats.

There are no current legislative requirements to use EFMs, although licensing authorities, mooring providers and users are keen to explore the use of this technology further as a potential tool to help reduce impacts from boating activities (replacing conventional moorings and as an alternative to anchoring) on sensitive seabed habitats.       

Types and benefits

The new website pages, developed in collaboration and hosted by the RYA, are designed to provide a useful resource to explore what EFMs are, the types and manufacturers of them, to give examples of existing trials and projects, to host a variety of reports and study documentation, and to provide a means of collating further information as the EFM landscape evolves. 

The information presented on the new web pages is a collaboration from partners including the National Trust, Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, the Marine Management Organisation, the Royal Yachting Association and The Crown Estate. 

Boaters can now access up-to-date information on the following topics:

Further input is welcomed on EFM experiences and trials, and any documentation, reports or papers. If you would like to provide any information, please fill in the RYA Submission Form for EFM Information.

Emma Barton, RYA Planning and Environment Manager, said: “Unlike traditional moorings, Environmentally Friendly Mooring systems are designed to avoid making contact with fragile seabed habitats, reducing the potential for damage caused by moving chains and gravity anchors.

“EFMs have become well established in both Australia and the USA, but have been slower to become established for use in the UK, partly due to the large tidal ranges seen in many areas. However, in recent years, various projects have taken place to trial EFMs and they have also been installed successfully by individuals for private use.

“We are actively encouraging the boating community to contribute further input on EFM experiences and trials, and any documentation, reports or papers. Visit www.rya.org.uk/go/efms for more information and to take part.”

Image courtesy of Keith Hiscock