As an industry that is responsible for managing a significant portion of the UK seabed, the marine aggregate sector recognises that it has an important role to play in protecting the biodiversity of the sea around our shores.
The sector already has a well established sustainable development strategy and has now produced a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) strategy that will sit alongside this. The BMAPA BAP aims not just to protect and enhance marine biodiversity, but to put in place a structure which ensures that its members deal with the many issues robustly and consistently.
The BMAPA BAP has been developed to dovetail with wider biodiversity initiatives covering the UK as a whole plus those specifically for England and Wales. It also works in tandem with the wider network of Marine Protected Areas that is evolving, which includes nationally recognised designations such as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), as well as the forthcoming network of Marine Conservation Zones.
The guiding principles that underpin the BAP strategy include:
- Ensuring that BMAPA members work to a common biodiversity framework
- Describing the potential effects of marine aggregate dredging on biodiversity
- Defining priority species and habitats that may be affected
- Identifying operational best practice for mitigation and promoting benefits
- Formalising a reporting and review process.
The BAP strategy is accompanied by a comprehensive implementation plan that sets out how the action plan will be delivered in practice, which includes the production of a baseline report during 2012 which will identify priority species and habitats associated with all marine aggregate operations across England and Wales on a regional basis. The first annual review report will then follow in 2013.
Timescales for completion and implementation of BMAPA BAP
The BMAPA BAP is intended as a series of “living documents” that are regularly updated in line with new data and revised targets as a result of what we learn from the exercise. BMAPA will report on its BAP on an annual basis, with the various tables being updated, and revised aims, supporting activities and actions set as appropriate.
A summary document produced to explain the strategy and the plans to deliver it is available to be downloaded here: BMAPA BAP Summary
The full BAP strategy and implementation plan is available to be downloaded here:
BMAPA BAP Strategy