E. Dorset FOE argues for tranquillity and ecosystem emphasis in MMO’s S. Marine Plan

East Dorset Friends of the Earth, a Marinet Member, has responded to the Marine Management Organisation’s request for comment on the central themes of its draft South Marine Plan, February 2017: The Plan covers the coast from Dartmouth to Folkestone, 221 miles (356 Km), with over 3000 miles of tidal coastline, about 20,000 square Km of sea, south to the border with France and Guernsey)

Headline Summary

The South Marine Plan, covering Dartmouth to Folkestone, is MMO’s, (the Marine Management Organisation’s) sea and related land-use plan to 2035.

It took 5 years, with good stakeholder involvement, so we expected a good balance between development and environment. This didn’t happen but we toned down our response to “disappointed” as we want to be listened to. We started by disputing their vision, to increase “busyness”, as we prefer peace, though we like diversity.

Most of the draft plan is a set of objectives and policies.

There is a very thoughtless policy preventing any opposition to any port expansion or development. Even worse, the draft plan wants to greatly expand marine aggregate dredging.

To counter this, we asked for a complete moratorium on aggregate dredging in the inshore area and eventual reduction to zero.

Even some policies on marine protected areas and access were questionable — total access to nature reserves in the breeding season, for a start. But the biodiversitybiodiversity Biological diversity in an environment as indicated by numbers of different species of plants and animals. policies were excellent, if weak compared to the economic ones, and they did endorse Marinet’s proposal for an ecosystem based management approach.

They didn’t differentiate between good and bad aquaculture but they were OK on global warming, water quality, fishing and others. We asked for additional policies promoting green technology.

Now we’re hoping that our response will be acted on. The MMO has to amend this draft plan if they want any credibility in our area.

The plans can be accessed through www.gov.uk/government/publications/draft-south-marine-plan

To see East Dorset Friends of the Earth’s full response, click here.


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