Kingsnorth Chimney demolition, NOW 22 March

Peel Ports advise that on 22 March 2018 the main chimney at Kingsnorth Power Station will be demolished by controlled explosion. An exclusion zone, patrolled by the harbourmaster’s launch WESTBOURNE and by the Marine Police Unit vessel, will be established as shown in this chartlet from 09:00 until sometime after 10:30. All vessels must keep outside the exclusion zone until the all clear is broadcast. Further information may be obtained from Medway VTS on VHF Channel 74 or telephone 0151 949 6656. NTM 14 of 2018 refers.

UPDATE 1.3.2018: The demolition has been postponed from 8 March.

Laser weapon to be tested at Shoeburyness

The defence project will culminate in operation at full-power under test conditions at Farnborough in summer 2018 before it is transported to MOD Shoeburyness for long-range outdoor trials later in the year. Boaters have expressed concerns that this may endanger the eyesight of mariners on recreational vessels and commercial shipping in the Thames Estuary. Read more…

 

Queenborough Harbour needs volunteers

Queenborough Harbour Trust is looking for volunteers who will help us to strengthen our focus on developing good environmental practices. This would involve assisting us with:

  • Working with environmental agencies. Currently the harbour area comes under the jurisdiction of two Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs), Special Protection Area (SPA), Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Natural England. We are looking for volunteers to help us interpret their requirements and represent us to them.
  • Representing the environment in our written and social media. This would include assisting with words and pictures to go into the QHT Harbour Guide, Newsletter, QHT website and Facebook. Topics would include bird, fish, mammal identification, the dangers of invasive species, current and future schemes to preserve and enhance the environment.
  • Running events in conjunction with environmental organisations such as Kent Wildlife Trust to help raise the awareness of our mooring holders, visitors and the general public of the unique environment which is on our doorstep.
  • Carrying out practical activities such as bird surveys at different times of the year, auditing QHT’s activities for their environmental impact, e.g. waste management, organising beach cleans and so on.

If you are interested, then we would very much like to hear from you and discuss the help that you can offer and the support that we can give.  Please contact the Harbour Controller on 01795 662 051 or email operations@queenborough-harbour.co.uk

Oyster trestles obstruct navigation at Whitstable

Following a complaint by Whitstable Yacht Club, a report published on the Marine Management Organisation’s website acknowledges that the presence of oyster trestles causes or is likely to cause obstruction or danger to navigation, whilst concluding that the farm’s operations are nevertheless acceptable as a low risk to marine navigation.

In response, the RYA has formally written to the Director of Marine Licensing at the MMO setting out their concerns with the report and arguing that the measures put in place since the investigation started do not negate the need for a marine licence. The RYA considers that these trestles require a full marine licence on the basis that they could cause obstruction or danger to navigation.

Read more on RYA website…

Further delay to opening of East Farleigh lock

In addition to the delay in repairing the lock wall, a pair of Grey Wagtails have made a nest in a key part of the construction site. The contractors are unable to work near the nest until the young birds have fledged. The earliest date for the lock to re-open is now 21 July. The footpath and canoe portage remain passable.

UPDATE: The fledglings have now flown so the lock is expected to open by 21 July.

River Medway Nursery Area: No-Take Zone

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

Stangate Creek now no anchoring zone

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.

3 metre storm surge tonight

Storm surgeOwing 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.