MCS investigates potential dredge damage

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 24 July 2014

MCS investigates potential dredge damage Fears for traditional fishing industries MCS has spent the day with Falmouth handline fisherman David Thomas, and local marine biologist Dr Miles Hoskin on a trip to see the areas likely to be affected by proposed dredging in the Fal estuary.

MCS investigates potential dredge damage Fears for traditional fishing industries MCS has spent the day with Falmouth handline fisherman David Thomas, and local marine biologist Dr Miles Hoskin on a trip to see the areas likely to be affected by proposed dredging in the Fal estuary. Falmouth Port wants to dredge out 700,000 cubic metres of sediment in a Special Area of Conservation to allow cruise ships to berth in this iconic port. MCS believes the removal of sediments from the dredge will have a devastating affect on local marine life, commercial and recreational fisheries. It will threaten the traditional fishing industries of Falmouth that have been a source of local income for centuries. If the dredging is given the go-ahead, we believe it will make Marine Protected Areas totally meaningless, and set a precedent to allow serious damage in all our other protected areas - meaning that all MPAs will be just ‘paper parks’. Right - One of these boats old sail boats is 120 years old and still being used in the Fal oyster fishery Dr Jean-Luc Solandt, MCS Senior Biodiversity Policy Officer says: “We implore the MMO, Natural England, and all responsible politicians, not to support the dredge. We believe offering this license would break environmental laws, and it will be a disgrace to spend public money this way that could be better used for schools, hospitals and other public services than for local commercial interests. Local authorities are cutting budgets for local services at this time - so is this a good use of Cornwall’s money? There is no justification for public funds being diverted from much needed services to a private port earning money from visiting cruise ship Left- the area of the proposed dump spoil site about 1 mile SE of Falmouth Bay protected area. The plotter aboard the fishing vessel shows areas of fishing interest (to the west), and pink seafan dominated reefs (to the north). What can you do ? You can help support the local group fighting this issue by liking and sharing their Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/FalmouthBayandHarbourAction, and write to the minister responsible George Eustice: george.eustice.mp@parliament.uk or the local MP sarah.newton.mp@parliament.uk

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