Working with Rochester Oyster and Floating Fishery, Kent and Essex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) is leading the way in marine conservation with the creation of the UK’s largest no-take zone in the Medway Estuary.
The no-take zone covers 12.1 square kilometres (4.6 square miles) of saltmarsh and mudflat environments that are vitally important to a wide variety of fish. The shallow waters have been identified as a nursery area, as they provide a refuge for fish during their juvenile stages, allowing them to shelter from predators and storms whilst supporting an abundance of prey sources.
The River Medway Nursery Area No-Take Zone byelaw prohibits any fishing activity within the intertidal areas along the northern banks of the estuary, spanning from Hoo Marina to Elphinstone Point. This includes angling and netting from boat or shore, and bait digging. Anyone caught fishing within the restricted area may be liable for prosecution.
For more information, visit: http://www.kentandessex-ifca.gov.uk/im-interested-in/mpas/medway-nursery-area/
Follow the Kent and Essex IFCA on Twitter: @KentEssexIFCA
Anchoring in Stangate Creek in the heart of the Medway Estuary, which is a Marine Conservation Zone, is to be prohibited from today, April 1st, following the discovery of several colonies of tentacled lagoon worms Alkmaria romijni. These creatures normally only grow to a few millimetres but in the unique environmental conditions of the creek several specimens have been found up to a metre long hiding in the hitherto unsuspected coral formations. Known until now only to local fishermen, who used to supply the delicacy to the scampi factory in Queenborough, the worms are thought to have arrived on the bottoms of ships quarantined in the creek in the nineteenth century. A spokesman for the harbour authority, now known as Peel Ports London, announced that special worm-friendly moorings for recreational boaters will be installed using funds accumulated over many years from conservancy fees.
Owing to the low pressure system passing over the southern North Sea, the tide at Sheerness is forecast to be three metres over the astronomical prediction at about 9pm this evening. Fortunately this does not coincide with high water. Our friends up the East Coast and over on the Continent may not be so lucky.
Photo Ken Waller
A common dolphin, not so common in the Medway, photographed by a member of Hoo Ness YC from a boat coincidentally called Dolphin
See more pics…
There have been several sightings (including by your webmaster) of harbour porpoises in the Medway in the last few weeks, as far up as Rochester Bridge. The presence of these small members of the dolphin family suggests a good supply of fish, probably as a result of tighter environmental legislation and the decline of local industry. These mammals are shy and if you blink you miss them! If you are lucky enough to get a photo please send it to email@example.com
UPDATE: A couple of porpoises have been spotted as far upstream as Rochester Cruising Club. Any advance?
The Marine Management Organisation announces the next phase of English marine plans, along with updates on the South and East Marine Plans. Marine planning events are taking place the week of Monday 11 April. The events are an introduction to marine planning, for you to meet your local marine planner and to find out more about what marine planning involves, and how you can get involved. The MMO will also be demonstrating their Marine Information System and the evidence base where you can view some of the evidence already gathered for your area.
The events are open sessions, including a number of scheduled presentations on marine planning. These will be held hourly, beginning at the start times shown below.
- Whitstable: 11 April, 9am to 12pm, Whitstable Waterfront, CT5 2BP
- London: 13 April, 9am to 12pm, Mary Sumner House, SW1P 3RB
- Colchester: 15 April, 9am to 12pm, Lake View Room University of Essex, CO4 3SQ
For more information regarding marine planning in the South East, please contact Peter Cosgrove, London, Peter.firstname.lastname@example.org
Today the Government has declared the “Swale Estuary” among 23 new Marine Conservation Zones. This designation is intended to protect fragile environments, ecosystems and threatened species though no management measures have been agreed or even proposed so it is impossible for boating organisations to know how they will be affected and to comment in any useful way. The Medway Estuary was previously declared an MCZ in Tranche 1. Read more…
- Tim Stonor uses a punt to clears debris from Westbrook Stream. Credit: Fiona Hanson
Friends of Westbrook Stream and Stonebridge Pond, near Faversham, have cleared vegetation and rubbish, monitored invasive species, dredged silt and started ecological surveys. They have been supported by supported by the Environment Agency, the Medway & Swale Estuary Partnership and Swale Borough Council. To enable the clearance work, the group commissioned a punt to be built by a group of unemployed locals led by shipwright Alan Thorne from the Purifier Yacht and Dinghy Company. Read more in the Telegraph
Peel Ports have issued a Notice to Mariners regarding the highest tidal predictions of the natural 19 year astronomical cycle. There will be a number of exceptionally high (and low) tides during the period of September 2015 to January 2016, the most notable high tides being:
- 27th – 30th September 2015
- 27th – 30th October 2015
- 25th – 27th December 2015
- 11th – 14th January 2016
In addition to the exceptional high tide levels there will be increased tidal flows.
Have you been reporting sightings of marine mammals to ZSL? This report shows there are surprising numbers in the Thames Estuary, which includes the Medway and Swale for these porpoises… If you see a marine mammal please report the sighting.