CMS News Archive

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This newsletter provides a really good overview of recent initiatives in the North West and its links to the wider Irish Sea – including an update on the Irish Sea Maritime Forum – The Celtic Seas Partnership - An update on National Infrastructure Projects – north west update - the Bathing Water Directive Regulation – and work on the Marine Strategy Framework Directive in the Celtic Sea. For more information go to:

Robert Cook and colleagues in this study describe the impact of the first passage of two types of bottom-towed fishing gear on rare protected shellfishreefs formed by the horse mussel Modiolus modiolus (L.). One of the study sites was trawled and the other was scallopdredged. Divers collected HD video imagery of epifauna from quadrats at the two study sites and directed infaunal samples from one site. The total number of epifaunal organisms was significantly reduced following a single pass of a trawl (90%) or scallop dredge (59%), as was the diversity of the associated community and the total number of M. modiolus at the trawled site. At both sites declines in anthozoans, hydrozoans, bivalves, echinoderms and ascidians accounted for most of the change. A year later, no recovery was evident at the trawled site and significantly fewer infaunal taxa (polychaetes, malacostracans, bivalves and ophuroids) were recorded in the trawl track. To read more go to:

The Committee on Climate Change has released its annual progress report to Parliament, which warns that the UK is at risk of missing carbon budgets in 2020, despite being on target to meet its first two carbon budgets. The report focuses on improving the efficiency of buildings and cars as well as growing investment in renewable generation and energy efficiency. This is our fifth statutory report to Parliament on progress towards meeting carbon budgets. In it we consider the latest data on emissions and their drivers, and we assess progress developing new policies which are required in order to reduce emissions. The report includes assessment at the level of the economy, the non-traded and traded sectors, the key emitting sectors and the devolved administrations. The main conclusion is that there has been good progress implementing some measures, notably loft and cavity wall insulation, boiler replacement, new car efficiency, investment in renewable power generation, and waste emissions reduction.

There are now a number of marine plans to compare covering our sea area. It is interesting to note that this Belgium plan at least sets out the past status of fishing landings, economics and employment whereas this information in absent in the East Coast Plan. RE “Public consultation on the draft marine spatial plan as well as its environmental impact report The public consultation shall run from 2 July to 29 September 2013. Integrated marine spatial planning can contribute considerably to mitigating the negative impact of certain tendencies by trying to use the space and the different raw materials in a well-considered and efficient way. That is why marine spatial planning is an instrument for policy making. The MSP offers an evaluation framework for conflicts between different human activities and for managing the impact of these activities on the marine environment. The objective of marine spatial planning is to search for a balance between the different sectors related interests and to achieve a sustainable use of marine resources. Marine spatial planning has to be based on the specific characteristics of the different marine (sub)regions. It is a process that consists of collecting sufficient data, consulting different stakeholders and developing a plan through a participative approach, and finally implementing, sustaining, evaluating and reviewing this plan. The vision behind the marine spatial plan for the Belgian part of the North Sea (BPNS) is based on a clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse sea. This long-term vision is transposed into concrete objectives for the BPNS in the period 2013-2019, addressing the environmental, safety, economic, cultural, social and scientific level.” To read more go to:

The UK water industry is a large consumer of energy and emitter of carbon, much of which is associated with the electricity it uses, though it also makes significant direct emissions. As an industry it is also well placed to become a significant generator of renewable energy, mostly through maximising the potential of biogas generation from wastewater biosolids (sewage sludge) through anaerobic digestion. With the Climate Change Act requiring the UK to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, the water industry, as with the rest of the UK economy, must make a contribution. A range of factors are critical to considering how big a contribution the industry can make to decarbonisation and how quickly this might happen. This report considers these questions, amongst others, and offers an analysis of where the main opportunities for carbon emissions reduction lie for the industry.

The Firth of Clyde gained considerable media attention after it was identified as one of the most degraded marine environments in the UK, primarily due to over a century of overfishing. Fishing in the Clyde has origins dating back to medieval times and has supported a large number of important commercial fisheries targeting a wide range of species, including: herring, cod, mackerel, whiting, haddock, turbot, skate and many others. However, due to unsustainable levels of exploitation, today these fisheries have all disappeared. In September 2008, Scotland’s first No-Take Zone (NTZ) protected from all methods of fishing was established within the Firth of Clyde at Lamlash Bay, off the Isle of Arran, under the rationale that it will “help regenerate the local marine environment and enhance commercial shellfish and fish populations in and around Lamlash Bay”. Lamlash Bay NTZ came after a decade of campaigning by the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) for better protection of their seas.

The Government has published the new Bathing Water Regulations 2013 for England and Wales which came into force on 31 July 2013. These Regulations replace the Bathing Water Regulations 2008. They take into account the changes in Wales with the formation of Natural Resources Wales and make some important changes with regard to the management of privately operated bathing waters. The new regulations can be downloaded here.

This National Marine Plan (Plan) covers both Scottish inshore waters (out to 12 nautical miles) and offshore waters (12 to 200 nautical miles). It also applies to the exercise of both reserved and devolved functions. Under devolution the Scottish Parliament can legislate in relation to activities affecting the marine environment in Scotland's inshore waters (out to 12 nautical miles), except for reserved matters. The UK Parliament legislates for Scotland's offshore waters (12 to 200 nautical miles), but certain matters in this area have been executively devolved. Marine planning matters in Scotland's inshore waters are governed by the Marine (Scotland) Act 20101, an Act of the Scottish Parliament, and in its offshore waters by the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, an Act of the UK Parliament. The two Acts establish a new legislative and management framework for the marine environment allowing the competing demands on the sea to be managed in a sustainable way. Under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 the Scottish Ministers must prepare and adopt a National Marine Plan covering Scottish inshore waters. The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 requires the Scottish Ministers to seek to ensure that a marine plan(s) is in effect in the offshore region when a Marine Policy Statement is in effect. The Scottish and United Kingdom Governments have agreed that the national marine plan for Scottish inshore waters and a marine plan covering Scottish offshore waters will be published in one document and will be collectively referred to as the "National Marine Plan". However, we recognise that the 'National Marine Plan' is still comprised of two plans made under two separate pieces of legislation. Unless otherwise stated, policies within the National Marine Plan apply to both inshore and offshore waters. The National Marine Plan will not affect reserved functions within inshore waters until a direction is made under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 (Consequential Provisions) Order 2010.

For anyone interested in the development and regeneration of coastal communicates the Coastal Communities Alliance newsletter is a font of information – the latest issue contains information on regeneration of Hastings pier (£14M) – the role of cheap petrol in helping coastal economies – A major coastal project in Felixstowe to support tourism – as well as information on The Coastal Economy Toolkit – Health & Well being etc. To read more and subscribe go to

Water Briefing: The response comes after the Telegraph claimed last week that millions of householders would face higher bills from compulsory water meters being fitted following a recently published report in water stressed areas. Defra said that it had removed several water companies from the list companies covering severely water stressed areas first published in 2007, with no new areas being added. Any suggestion that this made it more likely that customers will face compulsory water metering is “not true”, Defra said.“No water company is required to introduce compulsory metering, even if it is in an area of severe water stress,” it added. Defra went on to say the Government is tackling water prices by securing a £50 rebate of the high bills of those in the South West, bringing in social tariffs for the first time and, through the Water Bill, bringing in competition for all non-household users.

Observer – Utility week: Water companies have been fined a total of £3.5 million for more than a thousand pollution incidents since 2005, according to Environment Agency records. The records, obtained by the Observer through a Freedom of Information request, showed around a third of incidents led to a fine, averaging £10,800. The rest resulted in cautions. Thames Water was the most heavily fined company, paying £842,500 for 87 incidents. That included the single biggest fine, of £204,000 for a sewer pipe burst that flooded streets and gardens in Bromley, London. A spokesman for Thames Water said the company had 108,000km of sewers serving 24 per cent of the UK population and was investing £1 billion a year to upgrade its network. United Utilities had the highest number of incidents held against it, at 242. Anglian Water was the third most heavily fined. Joan Walley MP, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, described the penalties as "pitiful" and called on the Sentencing Council to make sure fines were large enough to act as a deterrent. The Sentencing Council is consulting on a standard fine of £750,000 on large companies for deliberate pollution with the most serious environmental impacts. Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes MP also weighed in, telling the Observer water companies make large profits, pay huge dividends, increase prices and pay little tax. "When, in addition, these figures show they don't deliver clean water, the public is entitled to say that our monopoly water providers are neither good corporate citizens nor good stewards of our precious environmental assets."

From John Robbs, Defra: ‘The proposals emerging from the Marine element of the Water and Marine Theme of the Government’s Red Tape Challenge were announced yesterday (see link below). It includes a variety of areas including marine conservation, licensing and water issues. The Marine element covers 196 regulations and we are proposing to scrap or improve 63%: 62 will be improved, mainly through simplification, consolidation and improving implementation on the ground and 63 regulations will be scrapped. The remaining 71 will be kept to maintain important environmental and public protections. Many of the proposals to scrap or improve will require legislative changes and Defra has produced an implementation plan for the entire Water and Marine theme setting out a timeline to roll out the proposals. This can also be found at: Exact savings from the package of proposals will become clearer as impact assessments are carried out. An announcement on the Water proposals from the Water and Marine theme was made in the Autumn Statement on 5 December 2012. The Marine proposals were considered alongside the Focus on Enforcement review into Coastal Development which reported in February 2013 and can be found on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills website at: We will be reporting progress against actions identified by the Focus on Enforcement review to the Reducing Regulation Committee in September 2013.

National Grid remains on target for delivering a pipeline and storage solution for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) after announcing it has successfully completed test drilling of a carbon dioxide storage site in the North Sea. The test drilling by the Energy Endeavour rig (pictured) represents a major milestone in delivering a storage solution for CCS. The drilling will provide additional data to confirm the volume that the site can hold and the rate that CO² can be injected. Early indications are that the site - 65 kilometres off the Yorkshire coast - is viable for storage and will be able to hold around 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide permanently. This is equivalent to taking ten million cars off the road for a decade. Peter Boreham, National Grid’s director of European business development, said: “Global energy demand is likely to double in the next 20 years and CCS is the only technology that can turn high carbon fuels into genuinely low carbon electricity and keep costs low for consumers." "Drilling is part of a programme which confirms our confidence that CCS will be a practical part of tomorrow’s energy mix." To read more go to

Global mean surface temperatures rose rapidly from the 1970s, but have been relatively flat over the most recent 15 years to 2013. This has prompted speculation that human induced global warming is no longer happening, or at least will be much smaller than predicted. Others maintain that this is a temporary pause and that temperatures will again rise at rates seen previously. Four other reports in MCCIP news cover: -Projected impacts of climate change on marine fish and fisheries - Sea level set to continue to rise - Climate change puts marine economy at risk - UK adaptation programme published

Scottish Government: Our aim is to achieve a well-managed network of Marine Protected Areas by 2016. You can help by providing your views on the case for designation of these possible Nature Conservation MPAs. We are also seeking views on other aspects of the proposals including management options to protect the features. MPAs are an internationally recognised tool, helping to contribute to Scottish Government’s vision for “clean, healthy, safe, biologically diverse marine and coastal Environments. The Marine (Scotland) Act and Marine and Coastal Access Act delivered new powers to protect habitats and species of national and international importance through the designation of Marine Protected Areas. New possible Nature Conservation MPAs (pMPAs) have now been developed to contribute to a network of MPAs and existing protected areas in Scotland’s seas. The MPA consultation invites your views. This overview document includes summaries of each pMPA and how you can respond to the consultation questions included. This MPA consultation invites your views. This overview document, includes summaries of each pMPA and how you can respond to the consultation questions included. Additional documents are available which provide further detail on the pMPAs, the evidence supporting them, potential management options, and possible environmental and socioeconomic costs and benefits. Descriptions of these and access links are included.

Natural England produce this newsletter which will of interest to those involved with land-use and water issues. In this issue the main features include: Biodiversity 2020 update - CSF capital grant scheme - Upland evidence review - Transition to the next RDP - Reducing red tape in the agriculture sector - Project management tips for farmers with Access Capital grants in 2013 etc. To read more go to:

Defra: ‘The new sustainable development indicators (SDIs) provide an overview of national progress towards a more sustainable economy, society and environment, and complement the National Wellbeing Measures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Their publication fulfils a commitment in the Government’s vision for mainstreaming sustainable development, published in February 2011, to ‘measure and report our progress through a new set of sustainable development indicators.’ To read more go to:,1QZCQ,2S0Q1V,68DT5,1

Fishing Focus – Issue 30: This newsletter is a mine of information and is well worth reading with care for nuggets of policy that emerge. This issue includes the Defra views on the fishing quota legal case, and news on cutting discards, ICES scientific advice for 2014, CFP Reform deal, the reform of regulations on shark fin removal, (see below), pinger requirements to prevent cetacean entanglement, EFF Grants and MCZ-marine planning comments. Regulation on removal of shark fins In early July the European Commission amended its regulation on the removal of shark fins, which aims to help conserve sharks. Member States can no longer issue permits for the removal of shark fins onboard vessels. All sharks must now be landed with their fins still naturally attached with no exceptions. This brings the rest of the EU into line with the practice the UK has followed since 2009. You can find guidance on species of shark which cannot be landed at: documents/elasmobranchs.pdf or via MMO coastal offices (see: and read about the UK government’s work to protect sharks at:

Guardian Cuadrilla is preparing for its first operation outside of Lancashire. The company has moved equipment into place to begin drilling an exploratory oil well near the village of Balcombe in Sussex. So far, Cuadrilla – which is hoping to receive a permit from the Environment Agency this week - is the only business to have carried out shale gas fracking in the UK. With the permit in place, the company will be able to go ahead with its first exploratory well in Sussex. According to The Guardian, a Cuadrilla spokesman said the company had already conducted tests on the underground water aquifer in the Balcombe area, and was reassured that drilling there would not cause problems. The company has as yet, no plans to frack in Sussex, however as it understands the micrite rock beneath Balcombe, may yield oil without the need to frack. Drilling a vertical then a horizontal well on the site may be enough to release the liquids and allow them to be captured. However, Cuadrilla must drill an exploratory well first to ascertain whether or not oil is there and if it can be extracted. If experts find fracking is necessary to release the oil, Cuadrilla may try to do that later.

Alun Davies AM, Minister for Natural Resources and Food This statement has to updateed Members on progress with the Welsh Government’s commitment to ensure that Wales fulfils its contribution to an ecologically coherent network of well-managed Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). ‘Members will be aware that I have restated my determination to ensure that we put in place a range of policy interventions to ensure that the Welsh seas and the diversity of life they support are healthy and robust to support the demands we put upon them now and in the future. Many people in Wales rely upon and use our seas to support their livelihoods and recreational activities. We want this to continue and develop as part of our blue growth agenda. To read more ...

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