Management and control
A Marine Licence for marine mineral extraction will be accompanied by detailed conditions, which define the terms under which the dredging activity has been permitted. This includes definition of the working area, the term of the dredging permission and the permitted extraction tonnage. The conditions also cover management, mitigation and monitoring requirements on a site-specific basis.
The management measures set out permitted working practices such as whether trailing or static dredging is permitted, whether screening is allowed, and any other operational restrictions or constraints that may be required. Mitigation measures stipulate steps to be taken to minimise or reduce the potential effects of dredging, such as minimising the area available to be dredged at any time and seasonal restrictions.
Monitoring measures may include bathymetric and side scan sonar surveys, benthic surveys, and resource surveys. All marine aggregate dredgers operating in UK waters are also required to have an electronic monitoring system, or EMS. The EMS is a ‘black box’ that records the time and location of all dredging activities using GPS satellite positioning, and this data is used to ensure that all extraction operations comply with the Marine Licence they are operating under. All vessel records are audited by the regulator and the managing agents for The Crown Estate on a monthly basis. More